Take a pinch of classic Blue Note soul jazz, some stylings from the 1970's afrocentric movement, and streamed to perfection lines of a lead jazz guitar and you've put together the pieces of Sami Linna Quartet's sound. Their album on Timmion is one for the dark evenings, for the first rays of sunlight cracking through a summer mist, for the dance floors of the mind.
Kicking things off is "Black Mountain", a 7-minute mix of unisono tranquility and bursts of energy, giving spacious solos to both Linna and saxophonist Jussi Kannaste. The firm and disciplined groove paves the way for the aptly named "Dreamsville", in which Linna takes the lead accompanied by Mikko Helevä's mellow organ and Dana Hall's gently sparkling drumming. "Umoya" and "Mode For Tomorrow" got a 7" edit release ahead of the album, but here both are revealed in all their glory, the latter clocking at all the way to 11 minutes. The LP finishes up with the swinging but edgy soul jazz of "Clowns", where the rhythm section of Helevä and Hall really get to shine.
Linna, Kannaste and Helevä have played together for two decades and drummer Dana Hall has previously worked with folks such as Ray Charles, Horace Silver and Joe Henderson, so there's combined experience in the quartet to pack the goods. Sami Linna is in the middle of completing his doctoral thesis on the subject of fusing modality and tonality in jazz expression. This serious focus is well reflected in his craft, but delivered with such levity that the listener can just kick back and relax.
1 Black Mountain
4 Mode for Tomorrow
Jukka Eskola Soul Trio
Carlton Jumel Smith feat. Cold Diamond & Mink
Cold Diamond & Mink
Pratt & Moody