Trumpeter Verneri Pohjola has risen to the elite of Finnish jazz in the last few years. He first became known particularly through the Ilmiliekki Quartet and its well-received albums - March of the Alpha Males and Take It With Me as well as Vi sålde våra hemman together with vocalist Emma Salokoski), but has also performed with many other groups, including his ever-changing Aurora ensemble (Aurora), Michelin Star together with Joonas Riippa (Michelin Star) and the Verneri Pohjola Quartet (Ancient History). Pohjola has also been featured as a soloist with the UMO Jazz Orchestra (Agatha) and Orkestrova and performed with the Meta4 string quartet.
Black Motor is an improvisational trio from Tampere in Central Finland that has been performing for almost eight years and has already released seven albums of its own. The group consists of Sami Sippola on tenor and soprano saxophones; Ville Rauhala on double bass; and Simo Laihonen on drums and together they play uncompromising free jazz in the spirit of their early idols, Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann and Rashied Ali, combined with more traditional forms of jazz expression. The trio has also been influenced by other forms of rhythm music from just about the entirety of the music´s hundred-year history. Cooperation with various special guests has been an essential part of Black Motor's operation, including not only musicians but also poets, dancers and performance and circus artists.
Both Verneri Pohjola and Black Motor are known for being adept in melodically rich and expressive improvised music. The group has labored itself into a veritable jazz phenomenon simply by playing their own vigorous and inspirational music and by largely creating their own performance opportunities, for example, by organizing club nights in Tampere's Telakka Restaurant together with special guests like saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim, guitarist Jukka Orma, hip-hop artists Hannibal - and Verneri Pohjola. The work is actually bearing fruit as the trio recently performed again at the Tampere Jazz Happening - now with saxophonist Mikko Innanen - also playing at the London Jazz Festival. Rubidium is the first joint project that Black Motor has recorded.
One of the most innovative tracks on the album has to be the title first song 'Waltz Unknown" in which both Verneri Pohjola (trumpet) and Sami Sippola (saxophone) interplay their horns to create a collective texture of beautiful harmonies. Rubidium also includes "Song of India," "Old Papa's Blues," "Sax-O-Phun," and the title track "Rubidium."