MAKE LIEVONEN — Make Lievonen (review)

MAKE LIEVONEN — Make Lievonen album cover Album · 1977 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Matti P
The eponymous album by Finnish bassist Make Lievonen is among the finest fusion works in Finland of that time. His road to composing and recording an album under his own name had been a long and winding one. In several short-lived line-ups Lievonen played with just about every household name of the Finnish prog and fusion scene, naturally including the ones appearing on this album and many others such as Jukka Tolonen, Jukka Gustavson and Seppo "Baron" Paakkunainen.

The idea for a solo album had been around since the early 70's, but in the spring of 1977 he finally made Atte Blom of Love Records to admit the time was right. The electric fusion was at the height of its popularity in Finland. Some of the album's material had existed for some years and had been performed in gigs. The recordings were done in four days, and most of the tracks took just one take.

The album starts joyously with the relatively simple and synth oriented 'Rain Dance' which is in a slight contrast to the rest of the material. Also other, more complex compositions such as 'Sea Horse' offer a genuinely happy feeling. The saddest of emotions are to be felt on 'March for the Lonely Riders', highlighting the soprano sax of Pöyry. In 'Monster Rally' Hasse Walli and Juha Björninen take turns playing short guitar solos. 'Tickets Please' is a tiny, groovy tune of electric funk.

'ETYK' refers to the 1975 Summit conference in Helsinki, where 35 national leaders signed a sheaf of papers. The hectic "going nowhere" atmosphere on the 8-minute composition quite perfectly sums up the whole thing. Although the world peace was a big issue at the time, the track title 'Peace Street Two' is simply a translation of the address Lievonen and Pöyry shared as room mates.

The closing track 'Farewell' features flute playing by both Pöyry and Pentti Lahti, who mostly plays bass clarinet on the album. "I have always liked the sound of that instrument", Lievonen said in a magazine interview. "Many people have told me there's not enough bass on the album. Well, I didn't want to make an album in which I'd play solos on bass and others would merely play themes. My main interest was to make beautiful pieces." And that's what he certainly did.

(Edited from my re-relase liner notes for Svart Records, 2015.)
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