OK:KO is a Finnish jazz band led by drummer Okko Saastamoinen. Land E. is the band’s debut release. Depite the bands short lifespan, it has already won the Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition and was voted as the audience favourite. In the fall of 2016, OK:KO was also nominated as the We Jazz Rising Star of 2016.
Okko, 21, has made a long journey from the active folk music scene in Haapavesi to the Sibelis Academy in Helsinki, where he was given the opportunity to immerse himself in the tradition of jazz. In order to bring his own vision of jazz alive, Okko founded his firstensemble as a leader in the fall of 2016 by asking some of Finlands most unique and reknown young jazzmusicians to join him in the quest to make his music come alive.
The music on Land E. is dominated by strong and beautiful melodies that clearly reflect Okko´s musical heritage. He puts an emphasis on leaving lots of room for improvisation by his open and spacious approach to songwriting. This helps to keep the music fresh and creates a multidimensional and high-spirited expression, ranging from fragile soundscapes to rough and flamboyant interaction. OK:KO always engages the listener with their personal sound and the evident trust that shines within the band.
Recorded at Sonic Pump Studios 11-12 July, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. Engineered and mixed by Olli Erik Keskinen. Mastered by Jaakko Viitalähde.
"Young Okko Saastamoinen drives his quartet and his tractor, slowly but surely, onto the nordic jazz scene" - Per A. Risnes Jr. (NO)
"Jazz band OK:KO is already really OK. Reminds of the best traditions in modern nordic jazz" - Harri Uusitorppa / Helsingin Sanomat (FI)
Jarno Tikka - saxophone
Toomas Keski-Säntti - piano
Mikael Saastamoinen - bass
Okko Saastamoinen - drums