Kimmo Pörsti – Past And Present (2021)

Kimmo Pörsti - Past And Present (2021)
Artist: Kimmo Pörsti
Album: Past And Present
Genre: Crossover Prog
Label: Seacrest Oy
Year Of Release: 2021
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)

Tracklist:
1. Awakening (2:10)
2. At Lombardy Convent (8:40)
3. Changewinds (5:40)
4. Fused (5:04)
5. Sorrow and Recovery (6:26)
6. Dance of the Miststress (5:05)
7. Darker Places (5:47)
8. Kati (5:21)
9. Second Arrival (1:52)
10. Past and Present (6:10)
11. Nucleo Antirapina (4:35)

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Personnel:
– Kimmo Pörsti / drums & percussion, bass, keyboards, acoustic guitars

With:
– Rafael Pacha / guitars (1,3,5,6,7,9), sequencer (1), bass (3,9), recorders (5), keyboards (3,6,7), low whistle & tin whistle (6)
– Ton Scherpenzeel / synth solo (5,6), keyboards (6), organ solo (7)
– Jan-Olof Strandberg / bass (6,7,8,10)
– Hanna Pörsti / flute (3,5,8)
– Carlos Espejo / vocals (3)
– Jari Riitala / electric guitars, keyboards, bass (4)
– David Myers / keyboards, nylon guitar (2)
– Kari Riihimäki / electric guitars (2)
– Cathy Anderson / cello (2)
– Christine Chesebrough / violin (2)
– Sara Traficante / flute (2)
– Paula Pörsti / backing vocals (3)
– Marco Bernard / bass (5)
– Dan Schamber / vocals (7)
– Marek Arnold / alto & tenor saxophones (7)
– Marc Papeghin / trumpet (7)
– Bo Hallgren / keyboards, synth solo (8)
– Thomas Berglund / electric guitars (8)
– Petteri Hirvonen / electric guitars (10)
– Otso Pakarinen / synthesizers (10)
– Risto Salmi / saxophone (10)
– Kimmo Tapanainen / keyboards (10)

Kimmo Pörsti from Finland has been very active as a prog producer, perhaps most notably as a key member in The Samurai Of Prog, but this enormous productivity hasn’t led to artistic compromises. Last year he released the excellent album Wayfarer under his own name, and with this new instrumentally oriented album it is further proved how gifted and versatile musician, producer and composer he is (if there still was any doubt of that!). Far from being a mere drummer, to say the least, also in the means of handling various instruments.

For this album his closest collaborator was Spanish guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and composer Rafael Pacha — who was also in the core quartet of The Guildmaster, another project produced by Kimmo Pörsti. Numerous guest musicians appear only on one track each, with the exception of bassist Jan-Olof Strandberg, Dutch prog veteran Ton Scherpenzeel (the leader of Kayak) and flautist Hanna Pörsti, each of them appearing on three or four tracks. To explain the album title, five tracks out of eleven are reworkings of earlier pieces from various projects.

‘Awakening’ is a nice, laid back opening piece with a focus on Pacha’s electric guitar. ‘At Lombardy Convent’ is composed by the regular TSOP contributor, keyboardist David Myers, and originally appeared on the various artists 4-CD project Decameron III. Apart from its vintage prog sounding middle section it is a highly elegant and mellow piece featuring also flute, cello and violin.

There are only two songs with vocals. ‘Changewinds’ is sung by Carlos Espejo and the jazz-flavoured ‘Darker Places’ by Dan Schamber. Well, they bring variety, but neither of these vocal tracks is among my favourites on the album.

‘Fused’ is an enjoyable and lively fusion piece composed and performed [with Kimmo on drums] by multi- instrumentalist Jari Riitala. Those who are familiar with the mellow fusion of Pörsti’s former band MIST SEASON will certainly enjoy his composition ‘Sorrow and Recovery’ with lots of flute. Two Mist Season originals are reworked for this album, the folky ‘Dance of the Miststress’ and the dreamily beautiful ‘Kati’. Pörsti’s composition ‘Past and Present’ originally appeared on Jan-Olof Strandberg’s fusion album Made in Finland (2012), and the hectic album closer ‘Nucleo Antirapina’ on an album of Otso Pakarinen who plays keyboards, guitars and bass [with Kimmo on drums].

Although Past and Present may appear as a slightly patchy, gathered-together sort of an album, it offers first-rate instrumental prog/fusion worth four stars. Ed Unitsky has once again done great artwork throughout the lavish package.
Review by Matti, progarchives

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