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Verneri Pohjola & Black Motor: Rubidium

Picture a band on a street corner in the very Nordic north. It’s winter. To keep warm, they spool out blowsy melodies of grave gait and linearity, their authority not immediately apparent. Then, as trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and Black Motorists Sami Sippola (saxes), Ville Rauhala (bass) and Simo Laihonen (drums) gather force and daring, this singular group turns from the relatively predictable to the nearly uncontrollable, delivering a rootsy brand of free jazz bristling with ideas-and melody.

Save for the Sippola showcase, “Sax-O-Phun,” the tunes are long and fun. These young musicians play hard, even putting “Song of India,” a Rimsky-Korsakov warhorse, through rigorous and unexpected changes. Pohjola is as fast as Sippola, though not as earthy; the two challenge each other and, backed by a solid rhythm section, work up a head of great spirit.

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