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Jimi Tenor - Deep Sound Learning (1993-2000)

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 5 / 7 / 2021

Jimi Tenor - Deep Sound Learning (1993-2000)
Label: Bureau B
Format: CD


Excellent anthology of unshelved material from the 1990s from Jimi Tenor who has helped to shape the course of electro jazz

Born Lassi Lehto in Lahti, which is an hour's drive from Helsinki, Jimi Tenor was under contract to the Warp label from 1993 to the Year 2000, and compiled from the vaults of that era comes this abundance of tracks that never saw the light of day. 'Intervision' was Jimi Tenor's first album on Warp, followed by 'Organism' and 'Out Of Nowhere', but a plethora of music from this era has only now been made available. I'm presuming hat the tracks he sent in then and nhich appear here might have proved to be too soulful and adventurous for the Warp label. Today Jimi Tenor runs an excellent label of his own, Philophon and its sublabel Lokalophon from his current Berlin residence. His love of authentic jazz music from Africa is evidently clear on 'Sambakontu' which he takes one step further. It is extremely hard to fathom that he's from a city even further North of Helsinki. A composer of warm-blooded music of tingling ingenuity, it is of no wonder that Jimi Tenor started releasing his own and others'' music on Philophon. Times weren't ripe when Warp signed the then 27-year young maverick from Finland. Treasures from this era are unearthed now. His quaint mixture of bleeps and breezing beats didn't live up to expectations as Warp released, highly repetitive music by the likes o, for example, f Squarepusher. 'Deep Sound Learning' very much feels like it is tearing up a straight jacket. Spending his time between New York and Berlin, it was a miracle that Jimi Tenor enjoyed a few chart hits in Finland, Austria - where one Gilles Peterson had a weekly spot on national radio = and in Germany. 'Doin' Alright' is misleadingly soft, but the listener gets shaken up by the masterful sequence of 'Walkie Talkie' and 'Espoo' towards the close of side 3 of the double LP. At this stage it's sheer impossible to imagine he ever signed to Warp Records, and also why why Blue Note might never have tried to contact him. 'Plan 9' recalls Thelonius Monk and must have set the tone for Jimi Tenor's collaboration with the late Tony Allen in 2017, although the irony perhaps lies in how the four by four square dance of 'Travellers Cape' picks up the red thread after Jimi Tenor starts crooning as if he is in an Al Green karaoke. A multi instrumentalist and wizard DJ, he even can sing lovely lines. Someone at Warp HQ is eating his or her heart out.

Track Listing:-
1 Exotic House of the Beloved
2 Sambakontu
3 Dub de Pablo
4 Baby It Hearts
5 Anna Mennä
6 Heinola
7 Jameson
8 Another Space Travel
9 Salo
10 Downtown
11 Bondage
12 Doin' Alright
13 Walkie Talkie

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