A New CD by New York Pianist & Composer - Mika Pohjola

Released in January 2002, composer & pianist Mika Pohjola's seventh album Landmark with his current working group MikaSonik "is a dedication to the beautiful spirit of New York City" Pohjola says. "There is a certain drive for pushing boundaries here," he explains. "And I would rather say pushing boundaries than breaking rules because the rule, whether it’s an observation, assumption or theory, is from the past. So if you’re breaking the rule the best you can do is come to that state of today. However, pushing boundaries is more like observing what is going on and trying to take it a little further. It’s like a rubber band, it never breaks, and it’s not supposed to break. But when stretching it a little further you see that there’s always room for more exploration." Indeed, he does some serious boundary pushing on provocative pieces like the title track, "Landmark," "Future Apparent," the raucous, anthemic "Young in the ‘80s" and the suite-like "Retrospectives."

While much of the music here is quite demanding, this skilled unit navigates Pohjola’s tricky meters and intricate unison lines with seasoned aplomb. And though it may be strictly composed and meticulously arranged material, there is still plenty of room within these structures for the soloists to blow.

Pohjola has assembled a crackling, flexible crew that can easily run the gamut from odd-metered Zappa-esque romps to soothing, romantic ballads, from Passport-ish fusion vehicles to 4th century Gregorian hymns, from lilting lullabies to searing rock-fueled jams, from evocative, cinematic themes to scintillating Swedish vocalese.

With Landmark, Pohjola strikes an appealing balance between heady architecture and heartfelt improvisation. -- Bill Milkowski

MIGUEL ZENON: Alto Sax & Flute
ROBERTO DANI: Drums & Percussion
MIKA POHJOLA: Piano, Harpsichord, Rhodes, DX7 & Sampling

April 3-13, MikaSonik's Finnish Edition (Sami Kuoppamäki, drums; Lasse Lindgren, bass; Ben Monder, guitar; and me on various pianos) will do the Finnish Jazz Federation tour.

BUY CDs: http://www.cdbaby.com/mika


Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mika Pohjola
  • Event Date: , February 1, 2002
  • Subtitle: LANDMARK
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