Petri Haussila's liner notes to Short Stories provide an object lesson for proof readers everywhere, informing us that the pianist in this Finnish duo, Eero Ojanen, was influenced by "Bud Bowel." Haussila does not explain the seven-year delay in releasing this music, self-recorded in Helsinki in 1998. After spending time with this album, it is reasonable to wonder why it was released at all. Short Stories has some interesting moments, but they are too few and will be discovered only by the extremely patient.
The duo-the other half is bassist Teppo Hauta-aho-plays 14 completely unplanned, improvised pieces. Ojanen and Hauta-aho have been active members of Finland's music scene for 40 years. Both know their way around their instruments, and might have gotten into something worthwhile had they chosen to deal with material of substance, whether provided by themselves or others. As it is, they noodle and meander and gesture and fidget and splash and scrape and generally experiment on the listener's time. Some pieces, like "Haloo-Haloo," are so uneventful that they evaporate. Others, like "A Firefly Story," are unlistenable. This album will motivate many who hear it to grab their remote-control devices and choose "next track" or, worse, "stop."