Title - Mortality
Artist - Mortality
For those not in the know, as the owner of Finlands Eclipse Music, guitarist, vocalist and composer Tapio Ylinen has released a number of acclaimed albums recorded by a range of jazz and rock artists over the past decade; including his recent rock based singer-songwriter solo album Left Unsaid, as well as the album debut of Finnish orchestral prog-rock composer Jukka Iisakkila entitled Clocks And Clouds.
In early 2020, Eclipse released Mortality, a full-length CD that skillfully merges jazz with a new brand of progressive fusion music.
Being all instrumental, the 50-minute, 8-cut album features the music of Tapio Ylinen performed by a range of contemporary Finnish musicians, including Verneri Pohjola (trumpet), Mika Kallio (drums), Aki Rissanen (keyboards) and other musicians.
Interestingly, although a skillful guitarist in his own right, Tapios role on Mortality is as the music composer, while leaving the guitar sounds for the most part to Jere Haakana and Teemu Viinikainen.
1. In Memoriam... Part 1
2. In Memoriam... Part 2
3. In Memoriam... Part 3
4. Deaths Little Sister
6. Towards Dawn Part 1
7. Towards Dawn Part 2
8. Towards Dawn Part 3
Musically, Mortality creates a stark, harrowing sonic texture that evokes both 1970s era Finnish prog-rock and a more prototype instrumental jazz that borrows from ECM style sounds.
Opening on the hauntingly stoic, yet always verging on ethereal In Memoriam... Part 1, we continue into Part 2 with the harder keyed approach to the trilogy, the third and final Part 3 a much lighter, out of the darkness, so to speak, work of scene scape art.
The ambient, and at times highly delicate title track itself is up next and then we get presented another trilogy, this time entitled Towards Dawn.
Part 1 is a free flowing flux state of magical proportions, whereas Part 2 is a more secure, buoyant and yet tethered work, the third and final Part 3 being the gently frenetic jazz jam that veritably lights the sky.
While Tapio is credited as the musical composer, the other players take part in the musical arrangements. The son of the late, great instrumental prog-fusion pioneer Pekka Pohjola, trumpet wiz Verneri Pohjola shines in this musical setting as a player and arranger of several tracks here, and some of the melodies are somehow reminiscent of his late fathers approach to some of his jazzier moments.
With titles such as In Memoriam, Deaths Little Sister and the title track Mortality, the mark of death is apparent, especially as Tapio wrote the music in the wake of his wifes passing in 2015.
The album works as a unified whole piece yet the songs move easily from one to the next. Even with his Left Unsaid album revealing his singer-songwriter tendencies, the 2021 album release of Mortality reveals yet another side to Tapio Ylinen’s compositional genius.
Simply put, Mortality brings Finlands jazz-fusion legacy up-to-date as we move deeper into the 2021s.
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