Black vinyl, 300 copies.
Recognized both for his superlative craftsmanship as a composer and for his impressive chops as a bass guitarist, Pekka Pohjola (1952-2008) was one of the eminent figures of North European jazzrock. A victorious run that started as the bass wunderkind with early 1970s progressive rock stars Wigwam led to a three-decade long and winding career as band leader and session man.
Pohjola’s fifth solo album, Kätkävaaran lohikäärme, is by title one of the best tongue-twisters in the history of progressive rock. Or rock in general. Practically unpronouncable to all non-Finnish speakers, this adventurous, diverse and totally idionsyncratic album has still become a milestone of the genre. Apparently, great music will out however difficult it is to ask for by name at one’s local record store – anywhere in the world. Aside from its country of origin, of course.
A major redeeming feature is the content itself. Contrary to its somewhat agonising title, Kätkävaaran lohikäärme consists of four tracks that are far from anything purposefully conceited, brainy or challenging. Indicative of their creator’s original style, the compositions layer elements of jazz, blues, rock and classical music on top of one another with an ease seldom matched anywhere.