Like a River (2013)
On their debut album Like a River Kokko Quartet introduces songs written by pianist Johanna Pitkänen, saxophone player Kaisa Siirala and bass player Timo Tuppurainen.
Behind each song lies a story or a memorable experience. The title track Like a River was inspired by the novel A River Sutra by Indian-born writer Gita Mehta. Yasmin owes its title to the so-called Yasmin revolution. The song has dramatic mood changes and leaves a lot of space for Kaisa Siirala's saxophone solo.
There are two songs by Siirala on the album. The songs Indy and Gokulam were written on Siirala’s two separate trips to India. Both songs have a mixture of different influences. Indy contains references to Indian ragas in its melody but gets its rhythmic base from Cuban music. About Gokulam Siirala says: “The atmosphere of the song has beautiful Indian mysticism, but also a degree of ugliness. There is a sense of waiting for a change for the better, as well as longing for the familiar Finnish landscapes.”
The album also features two songs by Tuppurainen. About his song Flying Tuppurainen says: “I wanted to create a mood similar to that of Keith Jarret’s and Jan Garbarek’s music in the 70’s. I hope this song will embody both the joy of life and the spirit of flying.”
On the album Kokko Quartet is joined by two guest musicians, Ricardo Padilla on percussion and Mikko Koivisto on tabla drums on the title track. Padilla plays a variety of percussion instruments from Latin America and Africa including the cajón, congas, the daff, the darbouka and the udu. These instruments add exciting sounds and textures to the album.
1. Letters (Johanna Pitkänen) 5:21
2. Flying (Timo Tuppurainen) 4:03
3. Gokulam (Kaisa Siirala) 6:31
4. Like a River (Johanna Pitkänen) 6:29
5. Indy (Kaisa Siirala) 4:20
6. At Land (Johanna Pitkänen) 4:34
7. Deep Minor (Timo Tuppurainen) 4:43
8. Yasmin – Intro 1:11
9. Yasmin (Johanna Pitkänen) 5:16
10. Rain (Johanna Pitkänen) 3:24
Kaisa Siirala, Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Bansuri Flute
Johanna Pitkänen, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organ, Celesta
Timo Tuppurainen, bass
Risto Takala, drums
Featuring Ricardo Padilla, percussion on tracks 1, 5, 8, 9 and 10
Mikko Koivisto, tabla drums on track 4
CD cover art by Alisa Javits