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There’s a familiar figure in the line up our Finnish visitors this year. Oddarrang is the vehicle for the wonderful compositional faculty of drummer Olavi Louhivuori, who’s also a member of Ilmiliekki, the quartet that won all before them at last years 12 Points! He formed this very personal project in 2003, and it’s been gathering serious momentum in Helsinki ever since, with a debut CD, Music Illustrated, that was Finland’s jazz album of the year for 2006. With its hybrid, almost muted instrumentation and songs with an undeniable lyricism, there is a sensation here of warmth emanating from the cold northern latitudes that’s irresistible. As is the norm in Finland these days, the musicianship is exceptional, and Louhivouri is joined by Ilmari Pohjola (trombone, voice), Osmo Ikonen (cello, voice), Lasse Sakara (guitar) and Lasse Lindgren (acoustic bass).

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