"Emerging from the city of Savonlinna in the eastern part of Finland, saxophonist Teemu Takanen (b.1984) has quickly established himself as a name to watch out for.
In 2007, Takanen won the Finnish Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition with his group Apilas. He finished his studies at he Sibelius Academy's jazz department only last year, but already has been appointed as a regional artist by the Arts Council of South Savo. Now, while also being the leader of Savonlinna Big Band, Takanen has found time to record and release his debut solo album.
Takatonic! presents a quintet with three horns at the front: Jussi Kannaste on tenor, Kasperi Sarikoski on the trombone and Takanen himself on alto saxophone. The rhythm group consists of ever-inspiring drummer Joonas Riippa who is anchored by bassist Antti Lötjönen of The Five Corners Quintet fame.
The album is made up of seven original compositions by Takanen. The funky bebop of S. Käpynen and Työväen Blues make it hard to avoid involuntary nodding, whereas the slow-pace waltz of Ruuhiveden valssi is remindful of melancholic traditional Finnish music.
With intense performances from everyone involved and especially Takanen himself, Takatonic! is a well-crafted debut that hints at a succesful career for the young leader."