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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Juhani Aaltonen: To Future Memories (TUM)

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 Finland seldom races to mind as a center for avant-garde jazz, yet the nation on Europe’s northeast corner has been home to a thriving scene. Prominent among Finnish improvisers is saxophonist-flutist Juhani Aaltonen, 78 years old but undimmed and leading a young ensemble in edgy improvisations that follow in the wake of Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane. The music on To Future Memories, drawn from compositions for films by Antti Hytti, shifts from relatively relaxed to agitated cacophony with the drop of a beat.