Jukka Perko: Avara
Saxophone, acoustic guitar and electric guitar is a rare combination, but it sure makes rarely heard great music. At once modern and timeless Avara came out early this year. It’s the third “hymns into jazz” record for hornman Jukka Perko and definitely one of the best jazz albums in 2012, not just in Finland. The night will be unforgettable, when the trio digs into the album’s material with a special guest star, the brilliant trumpetist Verneri Pohjola of Ilmiliekki fame (see own introduction).
A superb alto and soprano saxophonist, Jukka Perko (39) came to fame as an 18 year old “Little Bird”. He has since developed from a fluent “parkerist” into an original jazz man, whose emotional and melodic style is very Finnish.
Schooled at the Sibelius Academy and a winner of several jazz prizes, Perko has played with the Avanti! chamber group and the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and led the Poppoo, Nelitahti and Viisikko. His recorded catalogue holds at least two classics, outside of Avara: The Music of Olavi Virta by the Hurmio band and the first hymn album Kaanaanmaa (Blue Note, 2002), featuring the Virtuosi di Kuhmo orchestra.
Ranked among the world’s 20 best jazz guitarists, Teemu Viinikainen came to fame in the U-Street All Stars and has played with many of Perko’s bands. His new album as a leader, Nyt! came out last spring. Jarmo Saari is an adventurous modernist, whose first band was the prog-jazz quartet XL. Later he has played in ZetaBoo, Filmtet and Reuna, while Solu and Trubamolli are his solo projects.