Groovy moments and Melodies is a joint recording project of Finnish guitarist Tuomo J. Autio and Antti Rissanen, leader of The Great Helsinki Swing Big Band. It has its beginning as response to suggestion made by Pentti Lasanen, composer of jazz and entertainment music. The purpose was to make jazz spirited interpretations of popular compositions by composer/musician Rauno Lehtinen (1932-2006). The result is a unique compilation that includes arrangements for jazz guitar and big band.
The core of Groovy Moments and Melodies is formed by melodies composed by Rauno Lehtinen and arranged by Pentti Lasanen: Muistan kesän, Toiset meistä, and On hetki. Also included are classics, such as Bumbin and Boss City by Wes Montgomery, Besame Mucho by Consuelo Velazques, and Eleanor Rigby by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. New arrangements to these melodies have been made by Mika Mylläri, Heikki Koskinen, and Tuomo J. Autio.
Autio found it easy to get inspired from Lasanen's original idea to record Rauno Lehtinen's music, through personal experience: "Some years ago Rauno Lehtinen came unexpectedly to listen to my performance at a jazz club in Helsinki and requested to hear his composition On hetki. He had heard that this particular tune usually finished our encore repertoire with quite free interpretation. He listened very intently and came to thank me afterwards. When leaving he smiled and gestured approvingly. This encounter in mind, I felt that I had the right to interpret his melodies through my own jazz-like personality."
Autio continues on the planning stage of the recording: "As we built Groovy Moments and Melodies compilation I told that I would like to follow old time classic music concerto tradition where the soloist plays in cadences improvising freely on parts of melody themes. I also mentioned that I would like to play melodies through my inner musical memory in order to add more jazz-like rhythmics and melody variations."
Groovy Moments and Melodies was recorded at two concerts and one studio live session, and contains improvisation and creative interpretation. The momentary inspiration is audible in the studio session, too.
Release date: 31st August, 2011