The Hook (Black Vinyl)
Jukka Tolonen's music was always a bit of a hybrid of progressive rock and fusion, seamlessly dancing back and forth between genres. This third solo album, The Hook, finds him moving squarely into fusion territory and the results are phenomenal. Blazing stuff! Highly recommended.
"This is the third solo album by the most legendary guitar hero in the Finnish prog history (in addition to a large and respected solo career - mainly in Fusion - he was a key member of TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI). Already the list of musicians is very promising: Esa Kotilainen (moog, clavinet, accordion), Pekka Pöyry (saxes, flute), four other blowers, and the rhythm section of Heikki Virtanen and Esko Rosnell. Tolonen himself plays also piano. The music was recorded in Stockholm's Marcus Music AB and produced by Måns Groundstroem.
The nearly 13-minute 'Aurora Borealis' is a gorgeous celebration of excellent musicianship, and it gives a lot of attention to various instruments - both in combo playing and in soli - in the slightly funky environment. Wow! What a moog solo and drum work! Perhaps the groove continues a bit too long occasionally.
'Starfish' is equally energetic Fusion, loaded with reeds and brass. Full of musical joy that makes you feel happy. The band is just fantastic. All of them. 'The Sea' slows the pace graciously. Nice laid-back groove starring piano, accompanied by the rest of the group in perfect balance. The flute solo... lovely, lovely! The title track starts in a very funky manner and gives the main attention to Tolonen's technical excellence on guitar. This is my least favourite track but still quite interesting as it proceeds.
The relatively brief (3:15) closing track 'Together' is mellow, emotional ballad focusing on piano but containing also nice guitar sounds. I think this album has deserved full rating. In a word, Top Class Fusion in an international scale!" - ProgArchives