16 October 2012


Mikko Innanen & Innkvisitio are Finnish but have connections. Mikko performed a drums/alto/vocal dedication to John Tchicai who died only weeks before, and another composition that was influenced by Yusef Lateef. It just shows the company that these guys keep. I could believe it.
They didn’t take themselves too seriously given plenty of sly chuckles and smiles, but this was out there and as serious as your lives. I guess some improvisation was free but there were clear written parts, complex unison or harmonised lines with intervals that most wouldn’t find, neat counterpoint when Mikko accompanied on baritone sax, fluid melodicism from both the horns but plenty of frenetic excess too. The skills and chops and beauty were clear in sinuous tenor or alto but so were the escapes to extremes of noise and strange superabundant beauty. The keyboard, too, was mostly extreme, seldom pianistic but UFO-logical, groovy with funk rhythms and bluesy-tinged solo development at times and whimsical with sampled sounds and one sampled R&B woman’s voice for the funk number. The drums were a ring-in for the night, but with Mikko’s brother-in-law so not unknown to the band. This was extreme and madly skilled and funky and fun and sometimes touching music (“Where did you go, John [Tchicai]”) but never indulgent and always in touch. Wow and world class to my ears. Innkvisitio are from Finland and were led by Mikko Innanen (alto, tenor, baritone saxes) with Fredrik Ljungkvist (tenor sax, clarinet), Seppo Kantonen (synth) and visitor Stefan Pasborg (drums).

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