From Helsinki, Finland comes jazz-fusion act Trout Qt and their debut CD titled Trout to Lunch, an obvious play on the legendary album from Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch. Comprised of Matti Kanerva (drums), Jari Kokkonen (bass), Jukka Packalen (guitar), and Fredrik Söderholm (sax, flute, harmonica, keys and percussion), Trout Qt have taken some classic fusion influences from acts like The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, and Miles Davis, and mixed that with a modern twist for a pretty fresh sounding and enjoyable album.
Though you can look for some stunning soloing and interplay between the musicians at times, Trout to Lunch is more about melodies and grooves than anything else. "Moonracer" is a great example of that, as the musicians lock into a tight groove and deliver melodies that feature impressive chops but it's the catchiness of the tune that really grabs you. Same with the dramatic "Seiz", and the almost swampy blues-jazz of "Swamp Thing", both of which are instant grabbers. The lengthy "Cool Cats" is one of the more avant-garde/free-jazz styled numbers on the CD, with Soderholm squonking away over furious rhythms, and Packalen unleashing a torrent of guitar noise that culinates in a furious finale. "Ffunk" as you can imagine sees the band getting downright funky, and features some tasty keyboards from Soderholm, while " Trout to Lunch" is a fiery homage to late '60s/early '70s fusion, complete with searing guitar, deep grooves, and stabbing keyboards. "Rumrum" is a nice melodic modern jazz styled number with great sax, and the complex "Päästäsi Sään Saan" combines catchy Weather Report styled melodies with Frank Zappa inspired quirkiness. Drummer Kanerva gets his moment to shine on the rumbling closer "Emale", letting loose on an extended, gymnastic solo that really impresses.
Enjoyable stuff all around from Trout Qt, and I can easily recommend Trout to Lunch to any fan of classic jazz-fusion. My guess is we'll be hearing much more from this talented band for years to come.
4. Swamp Thing
5. Cool Cats
7. Trout to Lunch
8. Kitty Litter
10. Päästäsi Sään Saan