As a live experience, JPP are hard to beat. They’ve been together for over 30 years, having grown up in the Kaustinen
region, the fiddling heart of Finland, and they have long been playing tunes from the area and from further across Finland. As their worldwide reputation grew they built new compositions into their repertoire. Harmonium and piano player Timo Alakotila and fiddler Arto Järvela write a lot of JPP’s material, as well has pursuing their own solo and collaborative careers. Six fiddles, harmonium and double bass make up the band, with the fiddles’ exceptional phrasing and tone being the trademark sound. Letting loose on traditional tunes, they manage to weave in surprising harmonic shifts together with breathtaking dance rhythms. The earthy, percussive and haunting harmonium sounds are, in the hands of Alakotila, faultless and always inspiring; Timo Myllykangas, on bass, adds brilliance and mischief.
A new JPP album is always welcome, and this one mixes arrangements
of traditional melodies with new compositions. ‘Kohti Pispalaa’ is a typical whirlwind of brilliance and joy, ‘Hiuuih’ simply urges you to dance, though its rhythms are not for the
faint-hearted, and the opening march ‘Morsiusfatimarssi’ is a reminder of just how well they blend energy and poignancy. JPP have done it again.
TRACK TO TRY: Kohti Pispalaa