FINLAND – the happiest country in the world, apparently … well that’s not really a surprise when they’ve got We Jazz records, the Helsinki-based label, dedicated to keeping pulses racing and minds open.
Now comes news of their latest contribution to our wellbeing, a live recording of the potent five piece Koma Saxo captured in rampant form at the 2019 We Jazz festival (festivals? Remember those …).
Due for release on April 30th, Live is the second instalment from the band following their crunching self-titled debut a couple of years ago. On that record leader, producer and bassist Petter Eldh took the group’s surging post-bop sound, reconstituted it with hip-hop information, and arrived at a piece of extraordinary nu-jazz beat science. For the new LP the focus swings back to the vibrant, intuitive interplay of the quintet, retaining the emphasis on potency but without the post-production.
Preview single “Fiskeskärsmelodin” shows that Koma Saxo in their raw state lose none of their intensity, the live setting allowing instrumental finesse to burst out from the surrounding soundscape. The triple sax front line opens pensively with an almost baroque melody line before Eldh’s bass footnotes and drummer Christian Lillinger’s skittering drums break into the chamber. From then on the melodic hook gets thrown around with dazzling agility as “Fiskeskärsmelodin” seamlessly balances tuneful reflection with more urgent surges. Drawing an audible ‘wow’ from the festival audience, it’s a piece of jazz ensemble perfection guaranteed to make you want more.
So put that release date in your diary: Live, available in various bundles and formats, is waiting for you … get happy!
Koma Saxo’s Live will be released by We Jazz Records on April 30th digitally, on CD, and on trad black and limited silver vinyl. You can order your copy from the label’s Bandcamp page now, here.