Download Teddy`s West Coasters released their debut album

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Transcript
On behalf
of sunny and
humane jazz
LANCE KOOMA
Teddy’s West Coasters released their debut album
Volume 1 in summer. The second half of the double
album is being released this autumn. Octet’s leader,
drummer and composer Teppo Mäkynen considers
himself an artisan of music.
M
äkynen tells that he has composed the
Teddy’s West Coasters’ songs for a smaller
band. He doesn’t know where the process
takes him when he picks up a pen. Bigger
ensemble gives a possibility to think of
instruments the current piece would need.
– We go strictly by the terms of the
music. This isn’t a professional orchestra where everyone
should be employed evenly. I want the music to be the
richness and the asset, not how many people are involved.
Volume 1 models material from Mäkynen’s and bassist Antti
Lötjönen’s dialogue all the way to the full extent of the octet’s
big sound. West Coasters is a reference to the jazz played at
the Pacific Coast of the United States in the 1950’s and 60’s,
where melodic and large compositions breathe airy and
lighthearted. The last-mentioned was a hard case for the
Finnish composer.
– Usually a composition starts from an inspiration which
grief and wistfulness provide more than cheerfulness. I
haven’t been mistreated, but melancholic songs spring up
”Genelecs demand that the timbre and
other things are in order. They reproduce
neutrally and precisely what’s happening
and don’t forgive anything.”
easier. As we play instrumental music the stories aren’t
that concrete, but they have a bit of me and my
experiences.
What has charmed Mäkynen in West Coast jazz is mainly
the tone of the bands. The same musicians played for
movies, soundtracks and jazz albums. When these versatile
professionals recorded in top of the art studios with visionary
producers, the definition of the West Coast sound was
written.
– What fascinates me is the well captured tone of an
acoustic band, where you can hear all the instruments.
Everybody plays with the big picture in mind. One of my all
time favorites Mel Lewis’ drumming blends so well it makes
the rest of the band sound great. You don’t make a number
out of yourself, but back up the band.
Teddy’s West Coasters used Finnvox’s spacious studio to
fit the entire octet. Digital technology was utilized, so
Mäkynen could do a bit tidying up. He says the analog studio
in the right hands could produce a better result, but it
involves the risk of countless takes that lead nowhere but
frustration.
– Whereas the handicap in modern technology is the
illusion that everything should be perfect. This music
shouldn’t be perfect. You should be able to hear the human
touch in playing. That’s what I meant with artisanship.
The easygoing and airy result couldn’t be achieved
without the help of external help. The idea of a double album
came from the label Suomen Musiikki’s Kari Hynninen. Jussi
Lampela lent his expertise in the arrangements. Studio’s
professional staff guaranteed that the mood of the session
matched the music and Mäkynen could concentrate on
playing. Mäkynen describes the Genelec monitors used at
Finnvox as ruthless.
– Genelecs demand that the timbre and other things are
in order. They reproduce neutrally and precisely what’s
happening and don’t forgive anything. When mixing the
album and getting it to sound good through those, you know
it’s going to sound good anywhere.
Wherever one might listen to the album, Mäkynen wishes
it would happen in peace and enjoyment. Vinyl record
makes it possible for the listener to stop and focus on the
music. Then the sound and atmosphere of jazz truly can
captivate the listener.
– I wish people would manage to concentrate a bit more. I
hope that my music awakes positive thoughts you otherwise
wouldn’t find.