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MikaSonik, the eclectic jazz-fusion quintet led by New York-based Finnish pianist and composer Mika Pohjola, released its aptly titled studio album, Landmark, in 2002. Featuring a first rate lineup with Miguel Zenon on saxophone, Ben Monder on guitar, Fernando Huergo on bass and Roberto Dani on drums, Still Alive is in contrary a one-night unedited live recording. It documents the talents of each musician, but moreover it highlights the incredible stability and rapport of the group as a whole. This release contains the entire two-set concert of selections from Mika Pohjola's crafty and visionary pen. While Landmark could be characterized as a multiple-keyboard sound world and a careful arranged concoction, Still Alive captures the spirit of the band in real time. The music is Still Alive!
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.