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The Finnish Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri is actually a classic, acoustic jazz quartet, but it creates an expressive, suggestive music of a much bigger ensemble. «Hypnosis» is the sophomore album of this quartet, following the self-titled debut (Eclipse Music, 2017). It features sax player-bandleader-composer Lyytinen (who also took the photo for the cover), known from Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy, Mikko Innanen 10+ and Elifantree; trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, who hosts Lyytinen in his own quartet; drummer Mika Kallio, who plays with Lyytinen and Pohjola in the new, local all-star Mortality; and double bass player Eero Tikkanen. The album was recorded at E-Studio, Sipoo, Finland in October 2019.

The Magnetia Orkesteri excels in its democartic band dynamics. Lyytinen and Pohjola have established a molecular bond and communicate telepathically, always extending and expanding each other’s ideas. The rhythm section of Tikkanen and Kallio supply a driving, lively force to the soaring solos of Lyytinen and Pohjola. The delicate compositions of Lyttinen rely on modern jazz legacy, but with a Finnish twist, offering more atmospheric and lyrical textures, with enough space and time for personal interpretations of the themes, a strong sense of intimacy and balanced doses of eccentric humor and Nordic melancholia.

Kallio’s imaginative percussive work introduces the opening «Feeniks», and later colors beautifully the emotional soprano sax work of Lyytinen and trumpeter Pohjone. His exquisite gong work is also at the center of the meditative «Polynesian Prayer», injecting Eastern-tinged pulse together with the hypnotic bass work of Tikkanen, to this moving, atmospheric melody, intensified by the delicate usage of pedals to the ethereal playing of Lyytinen and Pohjola. Tikkanen’s strong rhythmic conception of «Teknojazz» drives the soaring solos of Lyyttinen and Pohjola, both feeding each other’s ideas. Tikkanen’s hard-swinging bass work is also at the center of «Multidimensional Banquet», where Pohjola and Lyytinen trade solos, Pohjola, with a tougher tone compared to the gentler one of Lyytinen. The restless, muscular rhythmic work of Tikkanen and Kallio on «Rhodiola Rosea» are contrasted by solos of Lyytinen and Pohjola, both suggest a freer approach to the strong rhythmic patterns. The poetic, contemplative and introspective interplay of Lyyttinen and Pohjola is the focus of the title-piece and the last «Message from Utopia», patiently, both add more nuances to these lyrical, layered textures, with subtle electronic effects on the latter.

The sonic horizons of this excellent quartet are of a small-size orchestra. «Hypnosis» is another testament to the strength, imagination and poetic language of the Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Pauli Lyytinen (ts, ss, pedal), Verneri Pohjola (tp, pedal), Eero Tikkanen (b), Mika Kallio (dr, gongs)

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