Saturday, 9 April 2016

Esa Pethman's Esa and Flutes from 1984

From discogs:

Esa Pethman was a Finnish jazz musician (saxophone, flute), born on May 17th, 1938 in Kuusankoski, Finland. 

Note he was a member of Heikki Sarmanto's Big Band and sextet.  I presented quite a bit of Sarmanto's music in the past and indeed I am happy to see quite a few of his records are easily available for public consumption.  Esa on the other hand is not as well known.  His first album from 1965 (way back in those glory days of Beatlemania), The Modern Sound of Finland, is a masterpiece of modern classical composition played in the jazz idiom, full of researched and creative, one-off ideas, and is highly recommended.  Alas, some two decades later, the intensely adventurous spirit has, inevitably, burned itself out but we still have some really gorgeous and beautifully played chamber jazz-fusion in almost a library mode (great new genre there!) as you can tell from a sample track called Cerulean Blue:

Notice how the trite descending minor bass pattern and melody played on the crystalline electric guitar (the Stairway to Heaven pattern as I've called it before) is made interesting by modulating the whole thing up a whole tone each phrase-- whereupon, after some three steps up suddenly like a flock of birds taking flight the flute sings an altogether different song this time anchored in a major chord with added major seventh, evoking the beauty of a beautiful bright spring sky, perhaps with the minor stanzas representing the fluffy cumulus being herding past.  Really quite brilliant composition and arrangement.

But there are many more such simple delights to find in here.  Altogether, another winning find from my magnificent record-hunter friend...