And so we have something extraordinarily unusual today thanks to those who present me with music to consider. It is FBB: the Sibelius-Akatemian Folk Big Band (SIBA 1012). Folk big band? That's right. As you might have gathered from the mention of the Sibelius Academy, this is a Finnish outfit. It is a group of singers, strings, guitars, winds, accordions, percussion and you-name-it.
The emphasis is on Finnish folk tradition and new music that extends that tradition. Folk fiddling is out front but then the whole band is out front. Sometimes you have the eerie feeling that you are listening to traditional Irish music, but no, it's just the affinity across regional traditions. Then there are things that sound like they could be medieval--and again it's part of the rootedness of this music. You'll hear all kinds of things mingling together that have lived musical lives in Finland. And it is beautiful, truly, all of it.
This is in every way a remarkable record. The artistry is top notch, the arrangements are just ravishing, and the music will haunt you. If the world is your home musically, this is definitely HOME. You don't want to miss this one if you look for things that are different yet musically alive! Live with this one a bit and you will find yourself opening up to it! Definitely recommended.