May 2000

BURN at Vortex and Bath Jazz Festival

Polar Jazz created waves both in London and Bath during the weekend. The combined Ed Jones and Mika Mylläri bands brought their drum‘n’bass/hip-hop/jazz music — BURN — first to an enthusiastic audience at the Vortex Jazz Bar in London (Friday) and then to great acclaim at the Bath International Festival.

The mini-big band defied the limited stage space at Vortex and created a bewildering array of tonal and rhythmic adventures, helped by the many instruments and a computerised loop/drum programmer (operated by Ville Hyvönen). The at times chaotic visual impact added to the unexpected twists and turns of the music.

Mika Mylläri’s trumpet - both open and muted - floated above the complicated sound textures and complex rhythms, until the other soloists emerged from the jungle of sounds, Ed Jones on tenor sax, bass clarinet and flute, and Jari Perkiömäki on alto and soprano saxes and bass clarinet. Mylläri’s didgeridoo added at times a murky undertone to the proceedings.

The presence of two bass players – Jorma Ojanperä on double bass and Geoff Gascoyne on electric bass – and two drummers – Winston Clifford and Markku Ounaskari – added to the exciting complexity of the proceedings.

Whilst the sound conditions in a small jazz club created a feeling of entertaining intimacy, the same music acquired a kind of symphonic grandeur on a big stage at Bath International Jazz Festival. The radio broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (Jazz on 3) also highlighted the sophisticated sound and fascinating tonal and rhythmic effects created by the musicians and the loop programmer.

The week of UK-Finnish jazz collaboration ended with a concert at Barbican FreeStage. The combination of musicians here was Jari Perkiömäki, alto and soprano saxophones and bass clarinet, Jonathan Gee, piano, Steve Rose, bass, and Winston Clifford, drums. The programme consisted mainly of Perkiömäki’s and Gee’s compositions. Towards the end of the well-received concert, Ed Jones on tenor joined the band and Markku Ounaskari replaced Clifford on drums.

Later in the evening, Perkiömäki and bassist Jorma Ojanperä participated in a jam session at Uncle Sam’s, a renowned jazz pub in Dalston, East London. Among the local musicians playing were guitarist Alan Weekes and alto saxophonist Tony Kofi.

Northern Lights over Stoke Newington

26 May 2000

Wheeler and Mikkonen open Polar Jazz at Vortex

25 May 2000

Polar Jazz kicks off

20 May 2000

Kenny Wheeler featured in Polar Jazz

14 April 2000

Ed Jones Quintet's adventures in Finland

June 1998

"A taut front line": Jones and Mylläri tour Scotland and Finland

February 1998

Ed Jones adds Finnish flavour to his jazz band by Chris Parker

January 1998

Finnish jazz benefits from more international contacts

January 1998


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