I spoke too soon when I said there was no more from the Kom Quartet. Lucky for all of us.
Kom was / is a theatre in Helsinki, apparently still open to this day. Amazingly, our beloved maniac Jukka Hauru performed on some of these records (specifically, the 74, 75 & 77) and for this reason alone they are supremely interesting. Recall Eero Ojanen, the other part of the Kom Quartet on Jazz-Liisa-- he was involved as composer in residence (among others) during this period. Here in this post we have the 1973 Torpedo, then 1974, 1975, 1977 (with Agit Prop) and 1979 albums from them. (For reference, the Jazz-Liisa recording was made in 1975).
The first album I have for you from 1973 called Torpedo is a silly mix of chanted tangos and political folk in the usual simplistic tradition of these compositions here written mostly by one Kaj Chydenius, thank god this genre died an early death (except of course in Germany). I can only imagine what infantile drivel they are singing about-- and I certainly can't fathom why tangos would be an appropriate vehicle for political commentary. Too bad the cops didn't shut down the theatre at that time, for inciting revolution with excessive mediocrity. However, you instantly notice the compositions by Eero Ojanen as they shine through with a very clear and gentle light, unfortunately there are only 2 of those. Still, they are not even good enough to show internet archive as samples.
The 1974 album continues on with the Brechtian tangos and political chants but augmented with the curious and herein puzzling addition of Jukka Hauru, with Eero on the piano and augmented as well with a lot of spoken passages and 'comedy' bits-- lucky audience! From discogs:
A (theatrical) tribute to the Chilean folk singer Victor Jara, murdered by the military forces at Chile Stadium, Santiago on September 16, 1973 during the violent aftermath of a coup d'etat.
Song B4 is partially based on Victor Jara's song Plegaria a un labrador [Finnish: Maamiehen rukous]. All the songs are included in Matti Rossi's published collection of poems "Soi kivinen lanka."
So in this case, I should take back what I declared earlier, perhaps the words are worth listening to. Luckily, I don't understand Finnish. Musically though we can't help but be disappointed if we are here occupying ourselves 99% with a progressive music blog so again there is virtually nothing to sample out for you and the internet archive. As an aside, I recommend reading about the subject of the dictatorship of Pinochet (helped into power by the Nixon administration) in those awful days in Chile as an instructive example of a classic authoritarian government, its tragic history including the suffering of its people, and its disastrous economic consequences-- for the citizens that is, not the people in power. They always do very well financially.
Finally in 1975 Jukka Hauru comes to the fore in the mix and is given compositional rights, whilst his friend Eero Ojanen pulls out an electric, not acoustic piano. Here just like with the Jazz-Liisa Kom Quartet, every track can be sampled for you so I'll just play track 1 wherein from the first delectable Jukka guitar lick you know you're in for something special:
It's more than a little shocking to me that such a well-known progressive fusioneer should have unknown music sitting out there, unknown until now, until this very day, for the vast majority of us fans. This is slightly tempered by the fact that half the album, or three of the songs appear (though in significantly different forms) on the Jazz-Liisa.
Moving on to 1977's LP the Kom assembly joins forces with political puppets Agit Prop (who I have always hated) but they continue beautifully with the fusion sounds, it's not clear to me whether or not Jukka is on this one but it sure sounds like he is. Maybe someone can tell us who has compositional credits. It's phenomenal from start to finish, it cohesively unites as a whole work / electric symphony or chorale of fusion augmented with the vocals on every track and I expect to spend hours enjoying it to the total dismay of my wife and kids:
Well, my usual comments apply, why is this work not performed at the local symphony halls all over N. America or Europe instead of the same tired old canon of ancient European composers? And every time I make the mistake of attending one of those concerts and look around I'm dismayed by the fact that in 20 years their audience will all be dead. I'm reminded of that time I saw a 75 year old man at intermission open a bunch of those tiny half ounce 2% milk containers for pouring into coffee and drink them one after the other, so happy he got a free room temperature cup of milk, as bystanders laughed and stared, completely oblivious to the theatricality of his own senile idiocy. So to me that's a classic classical music fan.
Finally by 1979 Jukka is out, kicked out presumably for being too musically brilliant, and the simplicity of Chydenius and his dumb tangos is back in. There are even cover versions of Brecht-Weill songs (from the tired old threepenny opera!!)-- they couldn't come up with enough compositions to fill up an album. We have a complete reversion or rather relapse back into the unintelligent political rock style in its most childish form, as if fusion had never happened. A metaphor for the whole of human existence surely, the rise and fall of all human activities, a curve that we are set to follow as a whole, as a species, in all inevitability.
But at least we have two brilliant masterpieces more to explore, thanks to this crazy guy: