With Jazz Fusion legend Frank Gambale (Chick Corea Elektric Band, Return to Forever) guest starring one might have a chance of being upstaged. This is, however, hardly the case with this genre-bending work of originality and world class musicianship. Released by Eclipse Music on September 01, 2023 the debut album by Markus Venehsalo & Mavon Safian, entitled “Introlation,” is predominantly instrumental guitar music with influences ranging from Heavy Metal, Funk, Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock.
While starring heavy hitters such as Mr. Gambale, the line-up of musicians in the band proper are no amateurs. Quite the opposite. Band leader Venehsalo and drummer Pöyhönen are seasoned live and session men whose credentials include gold album selling Pop vocalist Katri Ylander and Folk Proggers Tatu ja Tutkimusmatkailijat. Keysman Vili Itäpelto has played, among others with the unfortunately short lived Bodom After Midnight, led by the late great Finnish Metal guitar god Alexi Laiho. Oliver Karttunen is an in-demand bassist for the fusion group Peela among others.
Venehsalo announces himself as a great fan of guitar music: “I mainly listen to music that’s in the blues-, rock-, fusion- and heavy metal shredding -department. Making my own album has been a dream of mine for a long time. At the start of the project I decided that we’re not cutting any corners, and we didn’t. Finally my own skills are at a level that with great colleagues we got to a result that satisfied me. It feels good, I hope that someone other than mom and dad listens to it too!“
This spring’s Projekt 13 -single featured none other than guitar legend Frank Gambale himself.
Markus Venehsalo and his band Mavon Safia will perform the new material live at On the Rocks in Helsinki on 6.9., at Poppari in Jyväskylä on 13.9., and at Maxim in Kuopio at 14th of September.
Watch the official video for “Future” through the YouTube player below:
Pre-Order the album on Bandcamp: https://mavonsafia.bandcamp.com/album/introlation
01. Introlation (feat. Mikko Kosonen)
03. Made in Finland
04. Projekt 13 (feat. Frank Gambale)
06. Doorstep to the Rising Sun (feat. Ukko Heinonen)
07. Radioactive Diesel
08. Jazz Ballad
Vili Itäpelto / Keyboards
Oliver Karttunen / Bass
Jaakko Pöyhönen / Drums
Markus Venehsalo / Guitar
Frank Gambale / Guitar
Ukko Heinonen / Saxophone
Jani Jokinen / Trombone
Mikko Kosonen / Guitar
Mari Vuolahti / Trumpet