[Review] Jupu Group – Umpeen Kasvoivat Polut

Jupu Group is a Finnish band born in the mid 70’s and named after the only member still in lineup Juhani “Jupu” Poutanen. At the time they released only one album, much appreciated and sought after by Prog fans, on May 27, 2022 with a lineup completely composed of young artists “Umpeen Kasvoivat Polut” was released. Published for Svart Records, it contains 8 medium-length tracks that reflect and evolve the sounds of the debut album. The album opens with “Kapriisi” characterized in the intro by an intricate interweaving of keyboards and violin with a rhythm rich in tempo changes. The technique of the artists involved is immediately enhanced with elaborate plots and phrasing between the instruments, combining Prog and Jazzy features, with a fine guitar solo in the central part. The violin and the guitar duet perfectly in the second part, taking us back to the magical atmosphere of the first disc. An intro with percussion sounds with a mystical and Psychedelic touch characterizes “Istut Yksin,” where we find the first rehearsal sung by the warm and expressive vocal. The intensity increases with the passage of the song, enveloping and with a marked Scandinavian atmosphere. In the central part it turns into an energetic Prog piece with good mixes of guitar, keyboards and violin on a solid and elaborate rhythm session. A valuable duet between keyboards first and guitar then offers solo insights of absolute value in the second part. “Umpeen Kasvoivat Polut” is a soft and enveloping track that opens with a guitar solo, and then develops with melancholy atmospheres and full of pathos. A track that enhances the compositional and executive technique of this project, offering a very refined and sophisticated retro sound. Energetic and engaging “Enkeli” combines the most elaborate features of the band with the most modern ones and a penetrating funky bass, with the violin in evidence. A pompous organ offers a thunderous solo in the central part of the song and then returns to a more Fusion / Prog sound with a melody that stays in the mind for a long time. The Jazzy traits of the band emerge in “Giba” with a melancholy atmosphere and fine violin inserts, showing the class to the instruments of the musicians involved. In a musical crescendo that combines Prog, Jazz/Fusion with a 1970s imprint, alternating cheerful melodies and more melancholic passages. The long instrumental textures allow you to improvise the instruments creating a sound set of absolute level touching the purest and most refined Jazz. Each instrument has its right space to express itself and show the technique with virtuosity and create an absolute masterpiece. A sweet vocal opens “Kääntäisikö Hän Selkänsä” and then turns into a rhythmic and engaging piece combining Jazz and Prog traits thanks to their personal touch. They manage to create melodies and passages that capture the listener’s attention by making the body vibrate. The solo inserts and the continuous tempo changes are excellent, raising the level more and more and bringing the atmosphere of the golden years of the genre to the present day. “Pihapuu” begins with a percussive drumming and Jazzy notes on the piano, with a sweet and enveloping violin that guides us towards the heart of the piece. A softer track with a touch of Jazz, Classical and Prog quality music, original and very technical both in composition and in execution. Here they show a more delicate facet of their sound, while retaining the processing and sophistication that set them apart. The album ends with “Täyttymys” characterized by a long intro with more Experimental features and then returning to the band’s own sounds. The vocal is intense and the tempo changes allow you to combine the different genres and styles that characterize the sounds, with an excellent violin and keyboard background. The Jazzy features emerge in the final, where they conclude with an instrumental section of excellent workmanship. Despite the completely renewed lineup the quality is really very high, proposing with this new chapter another milestone of the Finnish Prog. Between Prog and Jazz with a personal touch, passing from the 70s sounds to a more modern touch, this album is a real masterpiece. A band that managed to bring the atmosphere of the Canterbury scene to Finalndia in 2022 and with a young and dynamic lineup, an absolutely recommended listening.

Santucci Treble Bass Guitar Stick l...

Tracklist

01. Kapriisi (03:44)
02. Istut Yksin (05:16)
03. Umpeen Kasvoivat Polut (04:54)
04. Enkeli (03:44)
05. Giba (06:41)
06. Kääntäisikö Hän Selkänsä (03:18)
07. Pihapuu (04:32)
08. Täyttymys (04:56)

Lineup

Juhani “Jupu” Poutanen / Compositions
Meerika Ahlqvist / Vocals
Lotta Ahlbeck / Electric Violin and Backing Vocals
Otto Porkkala / Electric Guitar
Mikko Patama / Keyboards
Heikki Saarenkunnas / Electric Bass
Oskari Niemi / Drums and Percussion

Jupu Group |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|

Svart Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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