“Akseli and the 11th Dream” opens this affair while providing a glimpse or indication of things to come. Pylkkanen and co. provide the listener with a refreshing, contemporary sound yet not overly saccharine or over-produced. Here, the pleasant arrangement and satisfying backwash of mellow yet poignant synths from keyboardist Seppo Kantonen mesh well with Pylkkanen’s airy, light-as-a-feather alto sax work. This piece is bright, affable and emits a sense of comfort or well being as the clever arrangement and tight ensemble work bestows positive vibes here and throughout. “The Strawberry Tree” is constructed around rich harmonies and strong melodies. Pylkkanen’s lyrical soprano sax phrasing and Kantonen’s cool keyboard manipulations coordinate well as the strong rhythm section is meticulous yet loose.
“Fungi” is one of the albums many highlights! Drummer, Marko Timonen commences with a military style march roll on snare drum as Pylkkanen’s gorgeous, rich melodic soprano sax work converges in unison with Kantonen’s equally melodic chord progressions. “Fungi” boasts wonderful lyricism, clear and concise thematic movements and progresses amiably as a mini-suite. Pekka Lukka’s hard-edged guitar interlude in the mid-section adds a different dimension to this composition as he effectively transcends the sweetness and ethereal atmosphere into a gutsy and somewhat soulful motif. Towards the finale, Marko Timonen stretches out with a crafty yet very musical drum solo. On “See How She Sleeps”, we hear more gorgeous melodies as Pylkkanen performs on the flute along with Kantonen’s lush and strikingly beautiful piano ruminations. Pylkkanen wrote this tune for his daughter and along with the fine ensemble work, maps out a course, which takes this lovely affair through various yet enticing stages and transitions. Perfect evidence of Pylkkanen’s multifarious arranging and compositional approach, while brimming with lucid imagery throughout......
Pekka Pylkkanen is a major talent as Pekka’s Tube Factory, given the right exposure should open up some ears and eyes here in the States. Pyllkkanen is an adept technician yet his most proficient skills lie within his articulate gift of creating multi-textural compositions and arrangements. These 6-9 minute songs have a lot to offer through clever, skillful soloing, tight as a drum ensemble work but most of all, the often rare faculty to effectively convey a story or two through music. This one is a gem! * * * * ½
Pekka Pylkkanen; Saxes, Flute, Bass Clarinet, Lao Reed & Mouth Organ: Pekka Luukka; Guitars: Seppo Kantonen; Keyboards, Piano: Hannu Rantanen; Bass: Marko Timonen; Drums: Tapio