Photo by Luke Marantz

Finnish guitarist Olli Hirvonen, perhaps best known for his work in Brian Krock‘s bands liddle and Big Heart Machine, will release his latest solo album, Displace, on August 30. We’re premiering the video for the first single, “No Light,” today. It was filmed at the Jazz Gallery, shot and edited by Adrien H. Tillman with sound by Johannes Felcher. Here it is.

The band on Displace includes pianist Luke Marantz, bassist Marty Kenney, and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell. All three played on his previous release, 2017’s New Helsinki, where they were joined by trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III.

“No Light” begins with forceful piano and a hard, snapping drumbeat, from which Hirvonen takes off in solo flights that recall the redneck bebop of the late Danny Gatton, which is echoed in the playing of modern guitarists like Joel Harrison and Anthony Pirog. There’s some John McLaughlin-esque shredding in his style, too, but the acoustic nature of the ensemble keeps things somewhat grounded. Marantz’s solo is equal parts McCoy Tyner-ish lyricism and bluesy boogie-woogie. This is a band worth paying attention to. Displace is out August 30 on Ropeadope. Pre-order it now.

Phil Freeman

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