Kéknyúl Hammond Quartet feat. "Big" John Whitfield
A night with top-quality jazz to swing and shout with Helsinki's sax-devil, Timo Lassy and his band, along with Budapest's most refined jazz keyboardist Mátyás Premecz and his Hammond Quartet.
Timo Lassy Band (FI)
Saxophonist Timo Lassy has cemented his position at the helm of the burgeoning Finnish jazz scene. Gearing up for the release of his third solo album, Lassy has steadily been building his reputation and now it seems that the big time is here for the sax man. Live, the Timo Lassy Band is a scorching five-piece consisting of Finnish jazz A-listers transforming the band leader’s soulful jazz vision into a full-scale rhythm-fest.
Timo Lassy, born in 1974, has worked at the forefront of swinging contemporary jazz for already more than a decade. An alumni of Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy with complimentary studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Lassy masters the tenor and baritone saxes plus the flute with a distinctly personal and sufficiently muscular touch. His sonic handwriting displaying both power and delicacy is time and again in demand by leading artists in the Helsinki scene and also internationally.
Lassy debuted as a solo artist in 2007 with the LP “The Soul & Jazz of Timo Lassy”, released by Helsinki’s influential Ricky-Tick Records. The album’s fresh vision of soul jazz soon secured Lassy a steady international following, also connected to his previous inspired as a member of The Five Corners Quintet, the U-Street All Stars, Teddy Rok Seven, plus the ensemble’s of multitalented Finnish innovator Jimi Tenor and the Italian jazz don, Nicola Conte. Lately, Lassy has also become an essential part of the live incarnation of Finnish soul sensation Jo Stace, represented by the production company We Jazz Ltd, co-owned by Lassy.
The second Lassy LP, “Round Two”, saw him collaborating with the US jazz vocalist José James, and the album skyrocketed the sax man into a veritable scene stalwart among the Finnish jazz aficionados and beyond. Moving into the current Timo Lassy release, “In With Lassy”, released by Milan’s Schema label in September 2012, Timo Lassy epitomizes the successful adaptation of the tradition of modern jazz and molding it into a brand of jazz music highly relevant relevant as of now.
The music of the band Kéknyúl (Blue Rabbit, founded in 2008) roots in the soul and funk music of the 70s, mixed with urban dance music. The sound is defined by two members basically: Matyas Premecz (keys) and Andy Hefler (vocals).
Matyas Premecz is a well-known organ player in Hungarian pop culture, with such bands as The Qualitons or Barabás Lőrinc Eklektric, but his name is always mentioned together with his trademark Hammond organ, and that’s exactly why Kéknyúl was founded: to be able to fully exploit the possibilities of the instrument.
Andy Hefler was born in Los Angeles and has moved to Hungary in 1993. He’s an outstanding figure in the Hungarian cultural scene being a renowned actor, director and singer.
But the band and its sound is not complete without the other six members, and their new album, coming out this December, will be based on this conception. Mark Badics (drums), Istvan Bata (bass), Andras Jasz (alto saxophone), Attila Bognar (trombone), Csaba Puskas (trumpet) and Zsolt Csokas (guitar) equally took part in writing the new album and uniquely among today’s Hungarian bands, all members have vocal parts as well.
The complex music of Kéknyúl (on their new album, Crowded Universe one can also find rock and psychedelic influences) attracts rockers, alternative teenagers and elderly jazz-lovers as well. The band is definitely among the best club- and festival bands of Hungary.
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