Universal Four [Jupiter, 2004]
Universal Four - Groovy, jazzy space soul soundscapes from Finland's Teddy Rok Seven -- led by Teppo Makynen -- who's worked with like minded scenesters Nu Spirit Helsinki and Five Corners Quintet -- but steps out with an amazingly strong full length! The sound is a bit tough to pin down -- it's all very trippy in a 70s soul jazz way, but still very cohesive, with pronounced influences like Herbie Hancock and George Duke in the mix -- but it's filtered through a kind of late model Schema club jazz aesthetic, with some great nods to spacey hip hop and club connoisseurs! Nicola Conte fans, don't let this one slip underneath the radar -- this a strong generator of that aesthetic -- but with a unique, jazzy sound all it's own! Teppo presides over the sound on keys, programming and percussion, with wonderful accompaniment on vibes, keys, bass, trumpet, fluegelhorn, flutes bells and layered off-kilter echoey sounds and effects!