Mika Pohjola

Myths & Beliefs

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This 1996 release marks Finland-born jazz composer/pianist Mika Pohjola's freshman outing. Here, the artist exhibits his distinguishable talents as a pianist who is equally adept at integrating hard-edged swing motifs, jagged frameworks, and folksy themes into his altogether expansive repertoire. With this effort, Pohjola reaps huge dividends from famed educator and modern jazz session guitarist Mick Goodrick for a series of memorably melodic passages, oscillating flows, and tightly organized unison runs. Moreover, the pianist expertly utilizes space and depth as a vehicle for understatement and suspense to coincide with the quartet's graceful soloing, airy dreamscapes, and playful free jazz-style interplay. Thus, Pohjola seemingly abides by a democratic style of group leadership, where everyone gets a chance to strut their stuff, although his shrewdly crafted compositional frameworks serve as the motivating force throughout. Simply put, Myths & Beliefs serves as a good indicator of a blossoming young talent on the upswing.

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