REVIEWS

GuitarPlayerCover“Finnish fretted/fretless guitarist and oud player Reijonen brings a pan-global perspective to the extraordinary music on [“un”]. Backed by a distinguished ensemble comprising Turkish, Swedish, Palestinian, and Spanish musicians, his playing is deep and profoundly nuanced throughout. Reijonen’s oud work is superb, but it is the ways in which he has applied oud techniques and sensibilities to guitar – particularly fretless – that are most likely to blow [Guitar Player] readers’ minds. A spiritual atmosphere permeates this music, so its not surprising that the album’s sole cover is a haunting reimagining of Coltrane’s ‘Naima’.”
-Barry Cleveland, Editor’s April Faves, GUITAR PLAYER, April 2013

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DownbeatJul2013“Musical cultures and sensibilities cross, evocatively, on the debut album by Finnish guitarist Jussi Reijonen, on which influences from Northern Scandinavia easily merge with elements of music and musicians from Turkey, Palestine, Sweden and Spain, without blinking or apologizing.”
-Josef Woodard, DownBeat, July 2013

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All About Jazz

“Reijonen’s musical universe has no frontiers. It is a beautiful, sensual mosaic of traditions and influences.”
– Eyal Hareuveni, AllAboutJazz.com, 20 Feb 2013

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LucidCulture“A still, spacious, slowly unwinding masterpiece from the Finnish oudist/guitarist and his quartet. Original night-sky themes and a classic Coltrane cover feature lithely intertwining levantine grooves, bittersweetly Egyptian-flavored motifs and Utar Artun’s eerily twinkling chromatic piano.”
– The Best Jazz Albums of 2013, Lucid Culture, 30 Dec 2013

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2013_2_17cm_www“A borderless music meeting… Un is an unheard-of, exciting and fine album, and I can only hope that the group’s Swedish bass player Bruno Råberg brings the quintet to Sweden on tour. This I want to hear live!”

“Granslöst musikmöte… Un är en oerhört spännande och fin skiva, och jag kan bara hoppas att gruppens svenske basist Bruno Råberg tar kvintetten till Sverige på turné. Detta vill jag höra live!”
-Rasmus Klockljung, LIRA magazine 2/2013 (Sweden)

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NYCJR_Jun2013“…an ethereal vibe of open spaces and pregnant pauses, an antidote to the undertones of urban angst prevalent in much New York jazz.”
– Tom Greenland, The New York City Jazz Record, June 2013

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All About Jazz“With this cohesive and intriguing work, Reijonen and his international band […] delightfully demonstrate the universality of the musical language.”
– Hrayr Attarian, AllAboutJazz.com, 19 Feb 2013

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rytmi-1-2013“Un convinces on every level, and is therefore comparable to groundbreaking albums by pioneers such as John McLaughlin, Ralph Towner, Oregon and the like. ★★★★

“Un vakuuttaa kaikilta osin, ja on siksi verrattavissa John McLaughlinin, Ralph Townerin, Oregonin ja vastaavanalaisten edelläkävijöiden uraauurtaviin levyihin. ★★★★
-Ole Nerdrum, RYTMI magazine (Finland)

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jwlogo“If this is a debut, then it’s kind of scary where Jussi Reijonen and his career may end up on the trajectory… A fascinating collection of sounds, cultures and nuances.”
-George W. Harris, JazzWeekly.com

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twmr-logo“The term Un is a suffix to a noun that puts the word in an indefinite state of being. In making this record with all of his stupendous sense of the indefinite—and therefore infinite—spatial aspects of musical sound, Mr. Reijonen has crafted something truly unique.

5/5 – Excellent

“…it is fairly rare for a Northern European musician to become attracted to an instrument that is difficult to play and somewhat limited—as all forms of the lute are—in the scope of its harmonics. It is even rarer for someone to excel at it in the manner that someone of Middle Eastern descent does. However, Jussi Reijonen is no ordinary musician. The strings player is primarily a guitarist with a sensibility like no other guitarist around, except perhaps Pat Metheny. Mr. Reijonen might also have heard the deepest, most soulful sounds of John Coltrane and heard this in his soul and in his spirit, because he is—like Mr. Metheny—the only guitarist who seeks an instrument-altering sound from whatever stringed instrument he is playing. On his hypnotic musical sojourn, Un, Mr. Reijonen plays oud as well as fretted and fretless guitars. On all instruments he pushes the sound of each into a place no one seems to have taken either instrument before—not even Mr. Metheny.”
– Raul da Gama, TheWorldMusicReport.com, 7 Feb 2013

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ArtslinkCoZa“It’s an incredible mix of Middle Eastern and African rhythms with a slight underlying of Scandinavian jazz. If you’re into World Music of the highest order, then you’ll love this fascinating and compelling listening album. […] No doubt about this being a five star album.
– Don Albert, Artslink.co.za (South Africa)

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JINYJune13webFINAL-1“…the constant is Reijonen and his ongoing desire to combine jazz with world music. It’s a desire that serves the Nordic improviser well on this promising debut.”
– Alex Henderson, Jazz Inside New York, June 2013

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CriticalJazz.com“The word virtuoso has been tossed about to the point by some critics, including myself, where the true meaning may be lost in an attempt to lavish Jussi Reijonen with the high praise he so richly deserves. […] 4 out of 5 Stars…Incredibly close to perfect as one can achieve. My only criticism would be I would love to hear more than just six tracks.”
– Brent Black, CriticalJazz.com, 19 Jan 2013

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LucidCultureUn is one of the most deliciously eclectic, interesting releases in recent months, equal parts jazz and Middle Eastern music.”
– Alan Young, Lucid Culture, 2 March 2013

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“Blending jazz with the musical traditions of the Middle East and Africa is a path fraught with peril. But if you hit the balance just right, you can create a fusion that draws on the best of both worlds to create something entirely new. Guitarist and oud player Jussi Reijonen does that here, to some degree, but also takes pleasure in bouncing back and forth, alternating astringent modal passages with jazzier sections-and also creating entirely new sounds, such as the desert-meets-the-Delta bluesiness of his take on John Coltrane’s “Naima.” Fascinating stuff.”
– Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist, June 2013

ImprovijazzationNation“You won’t find music like the 6 songs on this splendid CD anywhere else in the world today. Most highly recommended.”
– Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

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WP2011SomethingElseheader2

“The fresh perspective coming from a young talent from the Arctic Circle and other far-flung places of the world casts ‘Naima’ in a different light, and the gem still sparkles.”
– S. Victor Aaron, SomethingElseReviews.com, 23 Feb 2013

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Lapin KansaThe fourth concert of the album release tour for Reijonen’s debut “Un” was not only an emotional experience for the main star of the evening, but also an artistically successful journey into the colors and moods of rhythmically and melodically rich world music. […] The Maestro himself shone with West African kora-like guitar work in his composition [“Toumani (Blues for Mick)”] which explored the roots of the blues. Vocalist Eva Louhivuori guested on stage for three songs. “Kaiku”, which left the listener utterly speechless with its beauty, was Reijonen’s homage to his own roots, and according to himself, a kind of sonic photograph of Lapland. When, directly after, Eva performed her own composition, based on [Finnish poet] Eino Leino‘s heart-wrenching poem “Metsään nukkunut”, the only thought in yours truly’s mind was: can music as beautiful as this even exist?”

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“Reijosen Un-debyyttialbumin julkistamiskiertueen neljäs konsertti oli paitsi tunteikas kokemus illan päätähdelle, myös taiteellisesti onnistunut matka rytmikkään ja melodisesti rikkaan maailmanmusiikin väreihin ja tunnelmiin. […] Maestro itse loisti länsiafrikkalaisen kora-luutun mieleen tuovan nauhattoman kitaransa kanssa bluesin juuria tutkivassa sävellyksessään. Laulaja Eva Louhivuori vieraili lavalla kolmen laulun ajan. Sanattomaksi kauneudellaan kuulijansa mykistänyt sanaton ”Kaiku” oli Reijosen kunnianosoitus omille juurilleen, ja hänen itsensä mukaan eräänlainen äänivalokuva Lapista. Kun heti perään Eva esitti oman Eino Leinon riipaisevaan Metsään nukkunut -runoon perustuvan sävellyksensä, allekirjoittaneen ainoa ajatus oli: voiko näin kaunista musiikkia ollakaan?”

– Marko Niemelä, “Intohimoista musiikkia maailmalta” [“Passionate Music from Around the World”], Lapin Kansa, 12 Feb 2013

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Arvostelu_TurunSanomat“The easygoing approach and humble attitude crowned the whole. The energetic “Serpentine”, offered before the encore, overflowed with blindingly disciplined interplay that soared above ordinary technical prowess. The zen-like purity of the last number “Nuku Sie” embodied the innermost core of the group at its most visceral – the lullaby floated and twirled with minimal gestures, leaving the mind with a feeling of peace.”

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“Välitön lähestymistapa ja nöyrä asenne kruunasivat kokonaisuuden. Ennen encorea tarjottu energinen “Serpentine” tulvi häikäisevän kurinalaista yhteissoittoa, joka kohosi tavanomaisen teknisen taituruuden yläpuolelle. Viimeisen numeron “Nuku Sie” zen-puhtaus ilmensi ryhmän sisintä koruttomammin – tuutulaulu leijui ja kieppui pienillä tehoilla jättäen mieleen rauhan tunteen.”

– Matti Komulainen, “Zeniä jazziin” [“Jazz with Zen”], Turun Sanomat, 7 Feb 2013

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