The energetic new album This Time (Fg-Naxos 2013) from Jussi Lehtonen is modern jazz that honors tradition.
Jazz drummer Jussi Lehtonen is joined on the new album, that was released in April 17, 2013, by an international group of renowned musicians. In addition to Jussi Lehtonen, the quartet includes the Dutch guitarist Jesse van Ruller, saxophonist Joonatan Rautio and jazz organist Mikko Helevä. The release concert for the new album from the record label Prophone is scheduled for April 25, 2013 and is going to be part of the April Jazz festival’s program this year.
Some of the members of the ensemble first met in the spring of 2011 when the guitarist Jesse van Ruller visited the Jazz Department of the Sibelius Academy. Lehtonen, who works at the Jazz Department, later reassembled the group, at which time the saxophonist Joonatan Rautio joined the ensemble. "The album is essentially the result of the group’s touring during the summer of 2012," explains Lehtonen about the context of the soon to be released album.
According to Jussi Lehtonen, the music of the new album This Time is energetic modern jazz that also honors the traditions of jazz music. Lehtonen is responsible for most of the compositions on the album, but there is also an original piece by van Ruller, as well as some jazz standards. The album, dedicated to Lehtonen’s own son, opens with a track titled "Bouncing with Julius." The composer describes it as "a fast–tempo piece that could well represent the movements of a one–year old child."
"Circles," composed by van Ruller, Lehtonen characterizes as a groovy piece that is fun to play. The album also includes slower material, for example Richard Rogers’ ballad "Spring is Here," which fits the release date of this album perfectly. The adaption of "Spring is Here" has been done by Lehtonen and was originally inspired by Bill Evans’ rendition of the piece.
Jussi Lehtonen (b. 1977) is one of the most wanted jazz drummers in Finland. In the past ten years he has worked with numerous prominent musicians both from Finland and abroad and has lead his own jazz ensembles. Lehtonen is also one the leaders of the Koko Jazz Club, based in Helsinki.