Bowman Trio ‘Persistence’ LP/CD (We Jazz) 4/5

While we’re still reeling from the stunning Petter Eldh-helmed ‘Koma Saxo’ record, released October of this year, it would appear that Matti Nives – founder and artistic director of Helsinki’s We Jazz Records – isn’t quite satisfied to close out the year without a few more gems bearing the We Jazz label. And while ‘Lake’ by 3TM is still due for release before the end of November, it’s the turn of the Bowman Trio and their latest project, ‘Persistence’.

Serving as the trio’s second full-length album, and follow-up to their self-titled debut on We Jazz in 2016, ‘Persistence’ sees the Bowman Trio continue in their free-spirited and avant-garde style of jazz with nine original and lush recordings.

Comprised of bassist Joonas Tuuri whose bass has also graced projects by Laura Annika Quartet, Jonne Taavitsainen Threedom and Lithium; drummer Sami Nummela, who acts as ‘Persistence’s chief composer, helming eight of the nine tracks and also having appeared in another We Jazz release by Buba Wii Aa back in 2015 (‘Taco Taco Taco!’); Rounding out the trio is trumpeter Tomi Nikku who boasts a wealth of experience over the last few years appearing on projects by Maxxxtet, Eve & Ossi and Pyhimys.

A comparatively young band but collectively showcasing a wealth of experience within Finland’s thriving jazz scene. And the music on ‘Persistence’ is indicative of that very fact. The trio’s self-titled debut introduced the world to the fictional Finnish explorer, Johan Bowman, whose experiences were lovingly documented through the music of the Bowman Trio. ‘Persistence’ is the continuation of those exploits showcasing Johan’s life (‘Persistence’), love (‘Sista sommarrdagen’) and adventure (nicely captured through the Tomi Nikku composed ‘The Chase’).

‘Mä En Jaksa’ serves as a strong album highlight with the infectious stop-start nature of the song’s intro, as is the sombre nature of ‘Mac Elliot’ – which could very well be an ode to another great fictional explorer as famously played by Bill Duke in the classic 1987 movie, Predator, (but more than likely isn’t) and the aforementioned ballad ‘Sista sommarrdagen’ delivers as the perfect sublime album closer.

In our review of Koma Saxo’s album, we did tip our hat to the wonderful music and continual efforts of We Jazz Records which we absolutely will do so again when considering the music on ‘Persistence’ so raise a glass to We Jazz, to Bowman Trio, to Johan Bowman and in the words of the great Mac Elliot, who recites the lyrics to Little Richards’ ‘Long Tall Sally’ just before meeting his untimely demise at the hands of the Predator himself, “I’m gonna have me some fun”.

… and if We Jazz label, magazine and December festival wasn’t enough, there’s now a We Jazz record shop!

Imran Mirza

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Black Motor / Bowman Trio / Jaska Lukkarinen Trio ‘Live Plates Vol.1: Berlin 27.10.17’ LP/CD (We Jazz) 4/5