Reedsman Pepa Päivinen is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of Finnish jazz. Widely lauded for his big and vigorous baritone sound, Päivinen has made his mark with the likes of UMO Jazz Orchestra, Edward Vesala’s Sound and Fury and Saxperiment during the last two decades. Not restricting himself exclusively to any “mainstream” or “avantgarde” schools, he has managed to gather experience with an exhaustive number of musicians and projects.
In 1999 Pepa formed his own trio that performed regularly in Finland and elsewhere in Europe and released two acclaimed albums of which the first, ‘Umpsukkelis’ (1999), was prized as the Jazz Album of the Year by IFPI Finland. The trio has transformed into a quartet since 2004.
This fresh unit continues with the intensive drumming of Mikko Hassinen and features two new members of the younger generation, first-row bassist Ville Huolman and excellent guitar sorcerer Timo Kämäräinen. The quartet is propulsed by the same bold energy and the lyrical freedom as Päivinen’s previous line-up was. The music now appeals to more written material and a significant development on forms has been achieved. It definitely brings on a new dimension to Pepa’s musical language which is also fed by some composition of skillfull Mikko Hassinen. The debut album of the quartet ‘Tiram Num’ (2005) has been hailed as this Nordic saxophone master’s best so far.