Bullhorn is the new album by Finnish trumpeter/composer, Verneri Pohjola, his third as leader. Based in Helsinki, the thirty-six year old has been in the international spotlight for the past few years and is acknowledged as a jazz star in the making. His distinctive tone, with its deeply affecting purity and lyricism, and highly melodic improvising is embedded in self-penned compositions marked by memorable and imaginative themes that steer clear of any hackneyed notion of ‘Nordic’ jazz.
Bullhorn is a key album in Pohjola’s career, marking the shift from a rising start to an artist of real substance with a powerful, unique sound and a sense of deepening maturity and clarity of vision. Bullhorn is the album that finally realises Verneri’s enormous creative potential.
Featuring his long term associates and friends: pianist Aki Rissanen, bassist Antti Lötjönen and drummer Teppo Mäkynen, Bullhorn undertakes a panoramic overview of Verneri’s wide-ranging, evocative yet energetic approach to music-making, anchored in his strong, personal sound. As Pohjola explains: ‘It has the intimate sounds and lyricism in improvised passages that I love, but also the rough energy and emphasis on the compositions – everything I want to express in my music’.
In addition, Pohjola has set out on Bullhorn to capture the joy and spontaneity that occur in performance between these four like-minded individuals; the vital element of music making and ‘jazz’ that makes each performance a unique and personal statement.
A truly progressive artist with a firm understanding of popular culture providing the foundation of his art, Verneri Pohjola is on the brink of becoming one of the most exciting and original musicians of his generation. In fact, he’s almost ready to blow his own bullhorn.