It was back in 2003, that Dalindèo, the Finnish jazz-sextet were founded by composer and guitarist Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen. Since then, Dalindèo have released a trio of albums. Dalindèo released their debut album Open Scenes in 2007. Then after a gap of three years, Dalindèo returned with Soundtrack For The Sound Eye. By then, Dalindèo’s star was in the ascendancy. However, their third album Kallio, which will be released by BBE Music on 9th March 2015, was a game-changer.
Another three years passed before Kalindèo returned with their third album, Kallio. Kallio was released in Finland, in 2013, on the Finnsh label Suomen Musiikki. Widespread critical acclaim accompanied Kallio’s release. Critics and cultural commentators hailed Kallio the best album of Kalindèo’s ten year career. Everything Kalindèo had been through in the past ten years had been leading towards Kallio. Only now were they album to release an album that would transform their career.
On its release in March 2013, Kallio reached number thirteen on the Finnish album charts. This made Kallio one of the highest ranking jazz albums in the history of Finnish music. For the next six weeks, Kallio were a fixture of the Finnish album charts, and before Finnish long, radio stations.
Local radio stations and national radio stations picked up on Kallio. After ten years of trying, Kalindèo’s music was being heard by a wider audience. Kalindèo’s homage to the Kallio district of Helsinki seemed to have touched a nerve with Finish music lovers. This lead to Kalindèo heading out on tour.
Following the success of Kallio, Dalindèo headed out on tour. Over the next few months, Dalindèo played at all of Finland’s biggest, and most important, jazz festivals. This included Pori Jazz, Tampere Jazz Happening, Helsinki-Festival, Flow-festival and Jazzkaar in Tallinn, the capital of nearby Estonia. At each of these festivals, Dalindèo won over audiences with their cinematic sound. Once the festival season was over, things were going to get even better for Dalindèo.
When the nomination for the 2013 Emma Awards, the Finnish equivalent of the Grammy Awards were published, Dalindèo’s name featured proudly. Kallio was one of the nominees for the Best Jazz Album of 2013. For Dalindèo this was a huge honour. However, things were to get even better. On the night of the Emma Awards, Dalindèo won their first Emma Award for the Best Jazz Album of 2013. For the six members of Dalindèo, it made the past ten years of struggling to make a breakthrough worthwhile.
The Dalindèo story started back in 2003. That’s when composer and guitarist, Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen, decided to found Kalindèo, which he decided should feature some of Finland’s top jazz musicians. Eventually, Valtteri put together a sextet. Joining him in the rhythm section were drummer Jaska Lukkarinen and Pekka Lehti on double bass. They were augmented by the horns of saxophonist Pope Puolitaival and trumpeter Jose Mäenpää. Adding a percussive twist was percussionist Rasmus Pailos. They became Dalindèo.
Ever since they founded in 2003, Kalindèo have toured extensively. They’ve played over 150 concerts in Finland, and in twelve other European countries. This allowed Dalindèo to hone their skills, and gain a reputation as one of Finland’s top jazz groups. However, it took time.
Originally, Kalindèo’s music was a fusion of Brazilica and jazz. However, before long, Kalindèo’s music began to evolve into the post modern style they describe as cinematic jazz. Kalindèo have been pioneers of this style of music. They’ve drawn inspiration from everyone from Henry Mancini and Lalo Schifrin, to Duke Ellington and Dick Dale, right through to the films of Finnish cinematographer Aki Kaurismäki. This unique, and eclectic fusion of influences has inspired Kalindèo to make groundbreaking music for the 21st Century.
Two years after Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen founded Kalindèo, they released their debut 12” single Poseidon in 2005. It was released on the Finnish label Ricky-Tick Records, which would become home for Kalindèo for the next five years.
A year after releasing their debut 12” single, Kalindèo returned with their sophomore single Go Ahead. Released in 2006, word was spreading about Kalindèo. They were already a familiar fixture in concert halls and festivals in Finland. So it made sense for Kalindèo to release their debut album, Open Scenes.
Open Scenes, Kalindèo’s debut album was released in 2007. It was well released to critical acclaim by critics. Superlatives weren’t spared. One critic went as far as to use the b word. “The trusty Finnish sextet goes once again about the business of brilliance” Another critic remarked that: “Young Scandinavia continues to offer welcome relief from the furrowed brows of much American jazz. This Finnish sextet are a case in point.” Suddenly, Kalindèo were hot property and people were taking notice of the Finnish sextet. However, still, Kalindèo were content to do things their way.
With Kalindèo’s star very much in the ascendancy, it seemed that Kalindèo were in no rush to release the followup to Open Scenes. 2008 passed, without Kalindèo releasing any new music. Then in 2009, Kalindèo released two singles, including The Vintage Voyage-EP and New Creation, which featured Bajka. For fans of Kalindèo, this would keep them happy until the release of their sophomore album in 2010.
Soundtrack For The Sound Eye was released by Kalindèo in 2010. It was their final release on Ricky-Tick Records. However, what a swan-song Soundtrack For The Sound Eye proved to be.
Soundtrack For The Sound Eye was released to the same critical acclaim as Open Scenes. Reviews heaped praise on Kalindèo’s latest offering. It was variously described as: “a party for your ears” and “essential.” One critic went as far as to say compare Dalindéo to a “Ferrari.” So, it’s no surprise that other record labels were getting ready to swoop.
By 2013, Dalindéo had been making music for ten years. They were almost veterans of the Finnish jazz scene. They constantly toured and were a familiar face not just in Finland, but a dozen other European countries. This had its advantages. Word was spreading about Dalindéo, who had been constantly honing their sound. By now, they were one of the biggest names in Finnish jazz. This was the perfect time to release Kallio.
Having signed to Finnsh label Suomen Musiikki, Dalindéo released the third album of their ten year career. This was Kallio. It was released in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim accompanied. Critics and cultural commentators hailed Kallio the best album of Kalindèo’s ten year career. One hailed Kallio a future classic. Others called it variously joyous and cinematic.
Released in March 2013, Kallio reached number thirteen on the Finnish album charts. This made Kallio one of the highest ranking jazz albums in the history of Finnish music. For the next six weeks, Kallio were a fixture of the Finnish album charts, and before Finnish long, radio stations. After this, Kallio embarked upon a tour of the major Finnish festivals. However, the highlight was Kallio winning an Emma Award for the Best Jazz Album of 2013. By then, Dalindéo had ambitions beyond Finland.
Kallio had been a huge success within Finland. However, the six members of Dalindéo wanted their music heard further afield. When they played live, their cinematic jazz sound was winning friends and influencing people. So, they needed a label that could release Kallio worldwide.
This is where BBE Music came in. They signed Dalindéo, and will release Kallio on the 9th of March 2015. At last, Dalindéo’s cinematic sound, which references everything from the soundtracks of Henry Mancini and Lalo Schifrin, to Duke Ellington and Dick Dale, right through to the surf guitar of Dick Dale. That’s not all. Another major influence are the films of Finnish cinematographer Aki Kaurismäki. Occasionally, there’s a nod to the edginess and tension of Quentin Tarentino’s movies. All this plays its part in the sound and success of Dalindéo’s third album, Kallio, which I’ll tell you about.
Opening Kallio is Ota Linja 8! (Take The Line 8!), which could well be part of the soundtrack for Quentin Tarentino’s next movie. Bursts of horns join the rhythm section and percussion. They provide a Latin tinged backdrop before Dale Dale influenced surf guitars take their bow. Later, there’s even a twist of cocktail jazz. It’s a heady and explosive brew. Especially, when Dalindéo are in full flow. Flourishes of piano, dramatic stabs of blazing horns join shimmering guitars, as the track reaches its crescendo. By then, you’ve been transported back to the early sixties by the glorious sound of Dalindéo’s cinematic sounding jazz.
The cinematic sound continues on Karhupuiston Kuningatar (Queen of Bear Park). Braying horns, percussion and the rhythm section propel the arrangement along. Drizzled atop the arrangement are washes of surf guitar. However, it’s the muted horns that captivate and paint pictures on this joyous, swinging track.
There’s a sense of anticipation as Pyöräily Hämeentiellä (Biking On Hämeentie) unfolds. With just a guitar playing, you wonder where the track is heading? Soon, growling horns enter. They’re accompanied by percussion, while the rhythm section drive the arrangement along. What follows is an arrangement the veers between dramatic, moody, atmospheric and irresistible. Later, haunting washes of surf guitars are added. They’re just the finishing touch to a genre-melting track that’s explosive, dramatic, moody, atmospheric and truly, irresistible.
For anyone whose a fan of surf music or jazz, Ilta Tokoinrannassa (Evening at Tokoi-Beach) will win their hearts over. Slow, sultry, cinematic and jazz tinged, it’s three minutes of musical magic from Dalindèo, that’s both beautiful and haunting.
Kurvi (Twist) sees Dalindèo raise the tempo, on another irresistible, dance-floor friendly track. If this is a Twist, it’s a Twist like no other. Braying horns, a pounding, hypnotic rhythm section and some peerless surf guitar has you hooked. It’s almost impossible to keep still. All you want to do is Twist, Dalindèo style.
Just like Kurvi (Twist) ,Jäähyväiset Hesarille (Farewell to Helsinki-Street) is fast and furious. That’s the case from the get-go. The rhythm section join punchy horns in driving the arrangement along. Briefly, washes of moody, atmospheric surf guitar transform the arrangement, producing a haunting sound. Just like a braying horn, it’s used sparingly and effectively. They add to the cinematic sound. Later, so do the Hammond organ, crystalline guitars and horns. By now, Dalindèo are in the groove and enjoying the opportunity to stretch their legs, as they bid Farewell to Helsinki-Street.
Piritori (Shuffle) is the perfect description of this marriage between the rhythm section and horns. The rhythm section provide the backdrop for growling, grizzled and later, sultry and muted horns. They soar above the shuffling arrangement. It’s variously, dramatic, moody and sometimes, haunting and atmospheric. That partly, is down the surf guitar. Later, having worked its magic, this seems to lift the rest of Dalindèo who become inspired, and produce another barnstorming performance.
Ammattilaiset (The Professionals), sounds as if it’s the theme to a sixties, or early seventies television series. Sonically, and stylistically, it could just as easily come from the vaults of KPM or Bosworth’s libraries. However, it doesn’t. This is another barnstorming performance from Dalindèo. Especially, when their rhythm and horn sections unite. They go toe-to-toe, and are at the heart of what can only be described as a breathtaking and blistering, performance, from Dalindèo, Finnish cinematic jazz pioneers.
Kallion Rytmi (Rhythm of Kallio) sees Dalindèo slow things down. A mid-tempo, choppy arrangement unfolds. This allowsDalindèo to showcase their unique brand of cinematic jazz, where elements of jazz, Latin, cocktail jazz and surf music combine. The result is a track that’s variously sultry, atmospheric, joyous and moody. One thing however, Dalindèo’s music always is is, captivating.
Just like Jäähyväiset Hesarille (Farewell To Helsinki-Street), there’s a sense of urgency from the opening bars of Pitkänsillan Parempi Puoli (Better Side Of The Long Bridge). That’s not all. From the get-go you’re hooked, and head off on a breathtaking journey. What follows is three minutes of urgent, irresistible music as Dalindèo take you to the Better Side Of The Long Bridge.
Pengerkadulla (On Terrace Street) closes Kallio, Dalindèo’s third album. It has a much more understated, jazzy sound. Percussion, including vibes, join the rhythm section and rasping horns. They ensure that the arrangement floats, and sweeps, elegantly along. Midway through the track, the solos come round. Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen is first to enjoy his moment in the sun. After his performance, you think it won’t be bettered. However, it’s a case of anything you can do, I can do better. Then when Dalindèo unite, together they play their part in a quite beautiful, joyous track that’s bound to bring back memories of nights On Terrace Street.
Two years have passed since Dalindèo’s third album, Kallio, was released in Finland, by Suomen Musiikki. During that period, Dalindèo’s star has been in the ascendancy. They’ve enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success. Dalindèo have also won their first Emma Award, Finland’s equivalent of Grammy Award. Kallio won award the Best Jazz Album of 2013. That was the finishing touch to what was the best year of Dalindèo’s ten year career. However, still, Dalindèo’s albums were yet to be heard by a wider audience.
So, Dalindèo signed to BBE Music and will release Kallio on 9th March 2013. Hopefully, the reissue of Kallio will have the desired effect, and see Dalindèo’s profile rise outside of Finland. Dalindèo deserve to enjoy widespread critical acclaim and commercial success.
Dalindèo are a hugely talented sextet. Their unique brand of cinematic jazz, is bound to win friends and influence people around the world. They’be been inspired by everyone from Henry Mancini and Lalo Schifrin, to Duke Ellington and Dick Dale. Then there’s the films of Finnish cinematographer Aki Kaurismäki and even, Quentin Tarintino. This unique, eclectic and disparate fusion of influences has inspired Kalindèo’s to make groundbreaking music.
The music on Kallio veers between atmospheric and cinematic, to beautiful, dramatic, irresistible, joyous, melancholy and moving. Other times its captivating, intense, moody and has a sense of urgency. Kallio, quite simply, is a musical roller coaster where Kalindèo toy with your emotions.
They do this for the twelve tracks on the original version of Kallio. However, on BBE Music’s reissue, there’s two bonus tracks. The first is The Devil Of Portham Street. Then there’s a remix of Rhythm Of Kallio, by none other than BBE Music stalwart, Mr. Bird. These two tracks are an added bonus, and make Kallio the perfect introduction to the cinematic jazz sound of Kalindèo.
Kalindèo are just the latest in a long line of hugely talented Scandinavian artists who are making groundbreaking music. Previously, many of these artists have come from Norway, which currently, has some of the most inventive and innovative musicians in Europe. This Nordic Wave has resulted in Norway becoming one of Europe’s musical cultural capitals. That looks like continuing for the some time. Some of the best, and most groundbreaking music of the last few years has come out of Norway. This includes everything from ambient and avant-garde, to jazz, fusion and rock. Norway it seems, is at the vanguard of musical revolution. Will this musical revolution sweep across Scandinavia?
Let’s hope that’s the case. Hopefully, in the coming months and years, a new generation of Finnish artists and groups will produce equally innovative and ambitious music. Maybe, Kalindèo, will be the first of many Finnish artists and groups to enjoy commercial success and critical acclaim? Especially, if they can produce music as groundbreaking and atmospheric as that on Kallio, Kalindèo’s forthcoming third album.