*** Gatefold Cover
The authorised reissue of early Wigwam leader Gustavson's 3rd solo from 1981 (originally on Ponsi Records) comes with a facsimile of the original insert plus new liner notes by Mikael Wiik and also a fresh interview with Gustavson himself. Gustavson's third solo-album Toden toistoa (The Truth Repeated), released in 1981.
If he would have launched his solo career with this production he probably would have been much more favourably received. Because now we can enjoy clearly separate tunes where the band at times plays with a light and shimmering groove, at times handling ballads with tastefully glowing majesty. And above all - Jukka Gustavson sings! The opening track clocks in at 13 minutes. It is again fusionesque in its shape.
The title is “...minkä halajat minun tietävän...” (...what You wish me to know...). This composition is divided into many sections. After the intro Gustavson begins to sing body paragraph A (A-osa in Finnish) and to my ears it is infused with the spirit of Otto Donner***. This part is repeated a couple of times, constituting the basis of the introduction and it delivers in my opinion one of the most beautiful moments on this album.
It was originally released on Donner's latter day record company Ponsi Records.
From day one Otto Donner was very supportive of Jukka Gustavson and the question is, was this Jukka's conscious homage to his artistic mentor or did it just pour out of him unintentionally? It doesn't really matter; the plain fact is that the development of the melody and the chordal voicings behind it touch me deeply. For a fleeting moment Jukka Gustavson sounds more like Donner than Gustavson. But after that we are firmly back in Gustavsonland.
The lyrics prove to be enigmatic. They are open to interpretation, but to my mind Gustavson here juxtaposes worldly love - and the pain it can conjure - with the mercy and love granted by God. In the latter is to be found the strength to navigate among the emotional squalls of worldly life.
The album “Toden toistoa” contains only four tracks. This hardly surprises as Gustavson has never been known to come to the point swiftly. We embark on a long journey where the stops are few and far between, but there's a lot going on between the halts. I trust his spiritual quest has been made clear to you by now, so at this point I'll just add a few last words about the music. The third track “...Tosi aatteiden riemusta...” (The exultation of pure thoughts...) is completely captivating in its hypnotic delivery. Gustavson, overdubbing his own voice, chants a short phrase –“The truth is...” to which he then adds several different choices like Love, Wisdom, Justice, Beauty, Spirituality, Friendship ... and so on.
This extended performance contains elements that at times remind you of Frank Zappa and Steve Reich (Tim Ferchen on marimba triggers this). Gustavson's oneman choir repeats these truths like a repetitive mantra over a deliciously
infectious groove, again in astral voicings that present Gustavson at his purest. It makes me wonder what it would sound like performed by a full choir in a concert setting. It might even move the soul of a confirmed atheist toward higher spheres.
The musical and spiritual odyssey that JukkaGustavson is on was evident throughout his stint in Wigwam. But it fullyflowered on his first three solo albums. Together they form a coherent trilogy.