Timo Lassy: In with Lassy (2012)
Timo Lassy is one of the not-quite-so-young generation of Finnish musicians to have risen thru the ranks of the generous local system of music education, starting out as a toddler on piano, and gravitating in his early teens to saxophone. He cut his teeth in Amsterdam at the end of the old century and since returning home has been involved in the front line of modern Finnish jazz, first with the U-Street All Stars and more spectacularly with the Five Corners Quintet (5CQ).
He is one of the few members of this generation of Finns not to dabble with electronica, but to stick with a genuinely acoustic sound, but also the spirit of hard bebop. His involvement with the 5CQ gave ample opportunity for this preference, and now with his own band he continues with five driving compositions of his own, two from drummer Teppo Mäkinen, and one cover that are all very danceable.
In with Lassy retains Lassy's commitment to rocking jazz, in many ways thanks to the smooth but forceful style of long-term drummer Mäkinen, who is boosted here by local percussionist Abdissa Assefa. The prominence of percussion on Mäkinen's Wurlitzer-led "Shootin' Dice" or Lassy's own "Where's the Man," is well balanced by Antti Lötjönen's typical strong, steady bass, proving that their compatibility from 5CQ days is still strong.
On his website, Lassy explains that the recording was made locally in Helsinki, using classic analogue recording techniques. The upfront mix on all the tracks is evidence of the quality of these old techniques, and the music on this album shows that this older style of straight-ahead jazz can be very contemporary in its appeal.
Track Listing: Teddy the Sweeper; Shootin’ Dice; Where’s the man? Touch Red; It could be better; Creole Stew; Uncle Harry came to Town; The Good Life
Personnel: Timo Lassy: tenor sax; Georgios Kontrafouris: piano; Antti Lötjönen: bass; Teppo Mäkinen: drums; Abdissa Asefa: percussion.
Record Label: Schema Records