Jukka Tolonen and Tasavallan Presidentti – jazz or rock?


I browsed my book shelf the other day and found a couple of small booklets about jazz. The first one is a short introduction to the history of jazz (in Finnish) “Pari chorusta jazzia” by Lauri Karvonen and Mauri Mäkinen (1975, ISBN 951-692-020-9). The other is “A Finnish Jazz Discography 1932-1976” by Hans Westerberg (1977, ISBN 951-99115-9-6). Both are published by The Finnish Jazz Federation.

Pari chorusta jazzia by Lauri Karvonen and Mauri Mäkinen, 1975

I have earlier published some pictures of Tasavallan Presidentti, one of the most famous progressive rock bands in Finland, who earned also international reputation.

When I compared these two booklets from Tasavallan Presidentti’s point-of-view, I found that the musicians of the band and the music the played were classified into different genres.

In the book “Pari chorusta jazzia” Karvonen and Mäkinen write (my free translation): “The musicians of the new core team of Finnish jazz in early 70’s were […] guitarist Jukka Tolonen (Yrjö Award 1974) and …“.

Below you can see the extract from the book.

Extract from the book "Pari chorusta jazzia", page 58.

A Finnish Jazz Discography 1932-1976 by Hans Westerberg, 1977

What about the jazz discography?

There on page 62 Westerberg writes: “Despite the presence of noted jazzmen like Pekka Pöyry and Jukka Tolonen it is felt that the jazz content of the Tasavallan Presidentti is not substansial enough to merit an inclusion.

So though Tolonen (and some other players in the band) was regarded as a top jazz guitarist, the band he was leading and the music they played was not considered jazzy enough to be included in the jazz discography.

Extract from "A Finnish Jazz Discography 1932-1976", page 62

Is it rock of jazz, you can decide yourself, listen e.g. this video recording from year 1970.

About Olli Laasanen

Eyes and ears open. New and old. Jobs and hobbies. Pictures and music. Entertaining and serious. Change and stability. Nature and urban.
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