The latest pre-release track 'Aila' from the upcoming Ilmiliekki Quartet is marlbank's track of the week for 13-19 December. It's always an event when a European group of this magnitude and reputation releases an album and both this track and the earlier 'Follow the Damn Breadcrumbs' transport us to their best work 2003's March of the Alpha Males.
Since then both the Finnish band's world class trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and drummer Olavi Louhivuori have established meaningful names for themselves internationally but it's when they play together under this group banner with pianist Tuomo Prättälä and bassist Antti Lötjönen that they are most in their element and soar to another level.
On 'Aila' which emotionally pushes heightened raw, tragic, dramatic buttons there is an epic majesty to their playing and Pohjola in his stark and extraordinary refurbishment of the Finnish pop band Karina's song finds a place a world away from the eerie atmosphere conjured creepily in the original. The IQ test result here achieves veritable Mensa proportions of engagement in the reconstruction and delivery of the song. Ilmiliekki Quartet itself is released on the WeJazz Records label on 11 February.