Trumpet player Verneri Pohjola is one of the busiest Finnish jazz artists, and following the success of his latest album Bullhorn Pohjola is selling out his concerts at home and abroad. After full houses in other major cities in Finland, Verneri Pohjola Quartet played an album release concert to nearly 600 people in Helsinki on March 22 at an exceptional venue, the historical Finnish National Theatre. Pohjola commented after the show: "The feeling is unbelievable. I'm very proud of the band, whose sound is the result of long and hard work. I feel that even though I've played in large concert halls and venues before, playing in this important space was especially great."
In addition to the response from the audience, Bullhorn, which is Pohjola's first album for Edition Records, has received rave reviews from the European jazz critics as well.
The album got 4 stars and was called “beautifully executed” by The Guardian and Jazzwise commented, that “This album takes its place among the truly finest albums of recent times”. London Evening Standard gave the album four stars and said “The third album from leading Helsinki-based composer, bandleader and trumpet player Verneri Pohjola is the one that cements his move from longtime rising star to international jazz heavyweight”.
The album features Pohjola’s long-term associates and friends: pianist Aki Rissanen, bassist Antti Lötjönen and drummer Teppo Mäkynen. Pohjola comments on the album: ‘It has the intimate sounds and lyricism in improvised passages that I love, but also the rough energy and emphasis on the compositions – everything I want to express in my music’.
On his international tours in March, April and May Verneri Pohjola is playing, e.g., several venues in Poland, at Philharmonie Luxembourg on March 24, Opus Club in Budapest on April 11 and Elbjazz in Hamburg 30 May. Pohjola also plays with the special 12-piece band Mikko Innanen 10+, led by his fellow musician, sax mastermind Mikko Innanen. They perform at two important jazz festivals, at Vossa Jazz in Norway on March 28 and at Moers Jazz Festival in Germany on May 24.