Sunday, October 16, 2011

Five Corners Quintet :: The Helsinki Sessions

During the past six years, Finnish jazz band, The Five Corners Quintet has become known as a dazzling live unit, which has notched some 200 performances worldwide to great acclaim. Now Ricky-Tick Records finally captures the magic on tape, releasing The Helsinki Sessions, recorded in the band’s hometown in February 2010.

The Five Corners Quintet (Teppo Mäkynen, Timo Lassy, Jukka Eskola, Mikael Jakobsson and Antti Lötjönen) initially began in 2003 as a project led by producer Tuomas Kallio and DJ Antti Eerikäinen, who wanted to make an attempt at creating a new kind of imaginary jazz ensemble drawing inspiration from the heyday of modern jazz. Partly sampled, partly played by live instrumentalists, the first 10″ vinyl singles soon caught the ears of tastemakers and DJs around the globe and also gave a brisk start to the label Ricky-Tick Records.

The concerts recorded for the live album at Helsinki’s Kapsäkki venue are the quintet’s last remaining home soil appearances to date. Included is a fine collection of tracks spanning the bands career thus far, consisting of the recorded body of work of several singles and two albums. The debut release “Trading Eights” features here as the opening theme, “Unsquare Bossa” from the first album “Chasin’ The Jazz By” (2005) receives a treatment highlighting the bands knack at altering the mood of its music remarkably well within a single track, and the closing tune “Shake It” finally pushes the jazz enthusiasts present at the recording over the edge into exhilaration. Selections such as “Midnight In Trieste” and “Three Corners” display the ensembles ability to cool things down should the need arise.

A noteworthy feature in The Five Corners Quintet’s live interpretations is its soloistic flight and freedom when compared to the compact versions heard on the studio albums. Indeed, four of the seven tracks included here punch out at over 10 minutes of duration, yet it hardly seems that the quintet would be giving its audience anything that could’ve been left out.


01. Trading Eights (live)
02. Hot Rod (live)
03. Unsquare Bossa (live)
04. Midnight in Trieste (live)
05. Skinny Dipping (live)
06. Three Corners (live)
07. Shake It (live)