Sunday, 15 September 2013

Love Jazz 1966—1977

by Various Artists

In 2007, while visiting Turku, I wandered into a music shop and, on a whim, bought a CD of a hitherto unknown to me musician released by a hitherto unknown to me label. The musican’s name was Pekka Pohjola. (Sadly, he died in 2008.) The label, already long-dead, was Love Records. I don’t remember exactly what was the reason I bought the album, Pihkasilmä kaarnakorva, but it is most likely that I was intrigued by the combination of a stained glass-inspired cover art with the Love Records somewhat risqué logo:

The fact is, after listening to the CD in my hotel room, I rushed back to that shop and bought another Pohjola album.

Six years later, at the Porvoo city library, I discovered quite a lot of Love Records catalogue, including Love Jazz 1966—1977. From the liner notes of the album:

It might actually be easier to list who didn’t record for Love Records. In spite of this fact, and considering the musical background of the founders, Love Records published surprisingly few jazz albums. However, what lacks in quantity is made up for in quality. Love Jazz 1966—1977 is not aiming to be an inclusive cross-section of the jazz produced by Love Records, but focuses instead on some of the more swinging pieces. The compilation contains established jazz classics, a few lesser known, but all the more lively pieces, and a couple of rare treasures.
One of these rare treasures is Haka Blues by The Otto Donner Element All Stars. It is one of my favourite tracks here, together with Stella By Starlight Paquito D’Rivera and his Cuban-Nordic band featuring “the great Dane with the never-ending name”, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and Deodatoesque Grandma’s Rocking Chair by Olli Ahvenlahti — listen to the funky bass line by the very same Pekka Pohjola to whom I owe my acquaintance with Love Records!

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