It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play. -- Dizzie Gillespie

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30 Aug

Timo Lassy

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Timo Lassy is one of the leading artists in the vivid Helsinki jazz scene. The composer and sax player was recently noted as a “Rising Star” in the veritable jazz bible Downbeat, and his quintet ensemble, the Timo Lassy Band, was dubbed “one of Europe’s sharpest bands” by The Sunday Times in the UK.

Hot on the heels of the fourth Lassy LP to date, “Live With Lassy” (Schema 2014), the band has taken their no-nonsense cooking session on the road with remarkable results. Constantly selling out shows in his native Finland, Lassy is on the verge of becoming a force to be reckoned with on the international jazz circuit as well.

The Timo Lassy Band includes members of several hard-hitting and well-proven ensembles, most notably The Five Corners Quintet, the most successful Finnish jazz oufit to date and also the alma mater of Lassy himself. Live, the Timo Lassy Band excels in getting into the mood of hard- swinging jazz with gusto galore. The band is brimming with innovation, making this music very much “the art of now”.

In addition to being a sought-after jazz artist, Timo Lassy is also one of the two founders and owners of We Jazz Ltd, a Helsinki-based creative agency known for their knack of introducing new ways of perceiving jazz as an art form. The largest We Jazz project to date took place in December, as a new week-long festival event in Helsinki was introduced with great success.

About his last album 
"Timo Lassy has cemented his position at the helm of the burgeoning Finnish jazz scene. His two solo albums and the inspired sax work in the ranks of the globe-trotting Five Corners Quintet have steadily been building his reputation.
His last album, ”In With Lassy”, is a relaxed effort in the vein of the classic ”cooking session” tradition of modern jazz. That is, the band came in, took hold of the new tunes penned by Lassy and his trusty drummer/producer Teppo ”Teddy Rok” Mäkynen, and fired on all cylinders. The result? Some of the most swinging no-nonsense in your face and under your feet jazz you’ll likely to hear this year or during most of the others.
The Timo Lassy Band performing on the album is top-notch all the way. The wurlitzer duties are carried out by Georgios Kontrafouris, Greece's gift to the Helsinki scene, who turns the instrument into one of a vital organ in the operation. On double bass, the most sought-after Finnish bassist at the moment, Antti Lötjönen, keeps things solid, and the crunchy beat so central to Lassy's rhythmically remarkable jazz vision is safe with Teppo "Teddy Rok" Mäkynen on drums and Abdissa "Mamba" Assefa on percussion. Assefa was also part of the production team of the album, recording it at the quintet’s Helsinki rehearsal pad and producing the end results together with Mäkynen and Lassy.
Leading the pack, Timo Lassy is currently the most talked about Finnish jazz artist around. His scorching performances and witty media image have made the sax man the jazz cat to keep one’s eye on, and quite rightfully so. An innovative composer, arranger, and player looking back while moving forward, Lassy and his troupe appeal to purist audiences as well as to those outside the immediate jazz circles – a perspective in perfect harmony with his philosophy of bringing down boundaries too often still surrounding the music.
The concept of jazz performance has strong rhythmic roots when considering the Timo Lassy Band. Their sonic base is in the 1950's/60's hard bop, soul jazz and latin jazz tradition, but the masterful execution and the progressive vision of all of the group's players places the music firmly on the 21st century. Their jazz is easily approachable, yet remarkably deep at a closer look.
It is precisely this openness to both tradition and innovation, and the knack at combining the two that makes Timo Lassy Band a top draw in the current live jazz circuit. As a character, Timo Lassy embodies the rare kind of charisma of a contemporary jazz star. The content, the message, and the means to convey the both ensure that anyone looking for 100% pure high-quality contemporary jazz will be right at home with the Timo Lassy Band."
Source: http://www.ishtar.it/biography.php?IDArtista=125



Timo Lassy in the press :
Finnish Music Quarterly 01/2014: “For anyone who is under the impression that jazz has become a predominantly stuffy, over-mannered art form, Live With Lassy is a reminder of just how thrillingly entertaining it can be.”

Sunday Times 12/2012: (In With Lassy) “An exhilarating workout from one of Europe’s sharpest bands.”

Image 10/2012: ”Best jazz is not elitistic, but music for each moment: morning coffee, background music while working, or for dancing. Lassy does the trick everywhere, and that is why it is currently best jazz music both nationally and internationally.

Last modified on Friday, 25 September 2015 10:48

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