(This short review was first published in Jazz Journal in 2011)
Kalle Kalima (electric guitar, voice)
Oliver Potratz (bass, electric bass)
Oliver Steidle (drums, percussion, accordion)
Track #9 Jimi Tenor (voice, flute, photofon, keyboards)
120 K on a Water Slide
Mexico City Drive School
A Message on Dave Holland’s Answering Machine
Sneaking in the Attic
Polonium Polka Putina
Ghosts, Spirits and Other Nonscientific Forms of Blues
The Missing Page 1964
Berlin, April 22 and September 14-15 2009
Enja Records enj 9198
Berlin-based Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima clearly doesn’t intend to limit his trio on this, their third album – a subtle blend of both weirdness and easy-on-the-ear delight. The frantic, underlying-blues gallop of opener, 120 K on a Water Slide. The studied acceleration of the indo-fusion-y title track. The winding commencement to A Message on Dave Holland’s Answering Machine. The twisted dance of Polonium Polka Putina. Let’s face it, the track titles alone are worth the price of admission and the music itself is, at times, just as complex.
But if you’re worried about self-indulgence, don’t be; this is a tight set of varied and inventive compositions with room for all to let loose (and they do) together with a sense of intelligent restraint. Just don’t ask me what a photofon is.