Sunday, 8 May 2016

Jukka Syrenius Band in Memories of Tomorrow, 1983

I love those humorous cover photos!

One of the best and most enjoyable prog-rock bands from Finland was Elonkorjuu who I think everyone knows already.  Briefly:

Elonkorjuu was a prog rock band from Pori, Finland. The band was founded in the late 1960s. The first lineup was Jukka Syrenius (guitar), Timo Hannukainen, Veli-Pekka Pessi (bass) and Rainer Koski (drums). In the early 1970s singer Heikki Lajunen joined the group and Eero Rantasila replaced Rainer Koski in drums. This lineup recorded the band's only album "Harvest Time" in 1972. 
After the album Pessi and Rantasila left the band and two new members joined: Hannu Nieminen (bass) and Reijo Hannuksela (drums). In the mid 1970s Elonkorjuu moved towards funk/soul-based rock. The lineup changed again: new members were Veli-Pekka Pessi (bass), Veikko Nuotio (drums), Kari Tamminen (vocals, replaced Heikki Lajunen), Jukka Unkila (tenor saxophone), Petri Heimonen (alto saxophone) and Pekka Tyni (piano). Also guitarist Seppo Tyni played in the band for a short time.  In the late 1970s Elonkorjuu changed their name to Harvest and recorded one album of instrumental funkjazz called "Flyin' High, Runnin' Fast". Harvest split up in the end of the 1970s.

This release occurred in those early 80s years that are so touch and go for us musicophiles.  As one might expect from his past history some hot smokin' guitar licks are the highlight of this.  And we still have one foot planted in the 70s with some fabulous fusion and funk.

Subsequently he produced some very uneven music: the next album Denari is described as Gospel (yikes), and I have heard the 1986 Cat in the Hat which was, in comparison to this, disappointing.

I wonder if the perhaps too jazzy track Little Joseph is for that little babe on the cover:

On the other hand the Midsummer Dream is a little bit more inventive in composition:

Notice the prevalent latin influences here.

A really enjoyable album altogether for the fusiophiles out there.