The Helsinki Sessions

A 7 track jazz-funk album (1h 6m 3s) — released August 1st 2011 on Ricky Tick
During the past six years, The Five Corners Quintet has become known as a dazzling live unit, which has notched some 200 performances worldwide to great acclaim. Now Ricky-Tick Records finally captures the magic on tape, releasing "The Helsinki Sessions", recorded in the band's hometown in February 2010. The Five Corners Quintet initially began in 2003 as a project led by producer Tuomas Kallio and DJ Antti Eerikäinen, who wanted to make an attempt at creating a new kind of imaginary jazz ensemble drawing inspiration from the heyday of Modern Jazz. Partly sampled, partly played by live instrumentalists, the first 10" vinyl singles soon caught the ears of tastemakers and DJs around the globe and also gave a brisk start to the label Ricky-Tick Records. It soon became apparent that The Five Corners Quintet would also become a flesh-and-blood live entity. Fueled by the ever-growing demand around the project, a young quintet debuted in 2004. The core of the group took the form of sax man Timo Lassy, trumpet player Jukka Eskola, pianist Mikael Jakobsson, bass player Antti Lötjönen and framer Teppo "Teddy Rok" Mäkynen, who also acted as the musical leader of the group on stage. During the early stages of its existence, the combo also often featured Finnish jazz giants Eero Koivistoinen on sax and Severi Pyysalo on vibraphone. Looking back at hindsight, the story of the most internationally successful Finnish jazz band seems unlikely, but somehow very logical at the same time. In addition to the project at large, each of the musicians in the group have evolved into another level of artistic recognition during the six years aboard, and three of the band members are nowadays also highly-regarded solo artists. The concerts played by the live version of The Five Corners Quintet include an appearance at the Pori Jazz Festival in front of an audience of 35 000 listeners and performing at Helsinki's Flow Festival during five consecutive years, as well as acclaimed concerts at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Roskilde rock festival in Denmark, plus several sold out tours in Japan, extending also to China. The concerts recorded for the live album at Helsinki's Kapsäkki venue are the quintet's last remaining home soil appearances to date. Included is a fine collection of tracks spanning the bands career thus far, consisting of the recorded body of work of several singles and two albums. The debut release 'Trading Eights' features here as the opening theme, 'Unsquare Bossa' from the first album "Chasin' the Jazz By" (2005) receives a treatment highlighting the bands knack at altering the mood of its music remarkably well within a single track, and the closing tune 'Shake It' finally pushes the jazz enthusiasts present at the recording over the edge into exhilaration. Selections such as 'Midnight in Trieste' and 'Three Corners' display the ensembles ability to cool things down should the need arise. A noteworthy feature in The Five Corners Quintet's live interpretations is its soloistic flight and freedom when compared to the compact versions heard on the studio albums. Indeed, four of the seven tracks included here punch out at over 10 minutes of duration, yet it hardly seems that the quintet would be giving its audience anything that could've been left out. This is exactly how The Five Corners Quintet will and should be remembered: as an innovative studio project drawing knowingly from the history of jazz, and as tight-as-nails live quintet using the former as a starting point while creating its own universe of sound on stage.
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