Switched On – Jimi Tenor: Multiversum (Bureau B)

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

After two collections of career-spanning retrospectives, Jimi Tenor teams up once again with Bureau B. This time the material is brand new, and the label have allowed him free reign within the slight confines of synthesizer, flute and saxophone. He has such a diverse musical history that he could turn his hand to pretty much any form of electronic, jazz or even modern classical, but here his choices tend towards a blend of electronic and jazz.

Working with a typically instinctive approach, Tenor delivered the album within a few months from his Helsinki studio, using drum machines and synthesizer loops as a support for all sorts of treble-range activity.

What’s the music like?

Full of character. Jimi Tenor writes with a good deal of flair and always with a sense of humour, and his solos are packed with melodic content but also unexpectedly poignant moments.

The range of music is impressive, from the ultra-cool Gare du Noir and Monday Blue, with their easygoing vibes, to the upfront Slow Intro, where Tenor employs a fake choir. This leads to Life Hugger, with a flute-led swagger to the Krautrock groove. When the vocals are employed the approach is the same, with Unchartered Waters more song-based and Birthday Magic adding a humourous nod and a wink.

RajuRaju has a short attention span, with frenetic beats countered by rich ensemble passages. It is followed by the longest track, The Way To Kuusijärvi, a lovely slice of mellow flute and keys that give us the chance to kick back and indulge. This being Jimi Tenor, though, there is always some activity underfoot, and the skittish beat means we can’t relax too much! The saxophone solo, when it comes, is a beauty.

Does it all work?

Yes. With most constraints off the table, Jimi Tenor’s ability to think instinctively makes for consistently involving listening. His music is always interesting and full of melodic content, and the humour tops it off. On occasion Multiversum can get a bit ragged, but that’s a small price to pay for some infectiously good vibes.

Is it recommended?

It is. Jimi Tenor’s partnership with Bureau B is clearly good for him – and with the music as colourful as its cover, we can expect a good deal where this came from.



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