comments by Jimi Tenor
1. Cosmic Dive
We recorded this in Sonica Studios
in London. I think this is the most difficult track
for the musicians I ever wrote. Especially the intro
was hard to play. When I was making this track I was
thinking "parts, parts! Different stuff, slow and
fast. Lots of unis lines" - well you got it. The
lyrics: "Cosmic Dive, get in there, change sides"
is about the the ancient Finnish shaman-guys who used
to take mushrooms and dive (in their minds) to the bottom
of a lake, where there is a hole that leads to the other
worlds. Sometimes they came back to tell stories about
the other worlds and many times not (the mushrooms were
2. Higher Planes
I worked on this track early in the
mornings before going to hospital to meet my wife. She
was waiting to give birth to our child. There was a
beautiful sunrise every morning when I got to the hospital
and I think that is the sound you hear in this track.
Maurice Fulton did the drum track for this one.
I made a version of this track with
a Polish symphony orchestra, but the arrangement wasn't
ready then. When I started to work with a Finnish big
band called UMO my guitar player Ilkka Mattila suggested
that I redo Trumpcard with them. I liked the idea because
a lot of the rhythms are typical big band stuff. I'm
playing Farfisa organ in this one. I love Farfisa because
it has a very soft sound if I use the "flute"
preset. This was recorded live at the Tavastia Club
in Helsinki. We actually did record 32 digital recording
in the sound check as well, but it didn't have the vibe
that this version has.
4. Good Day
This was a long project I made couple
of versions on ADAT at home. Then we recorded this with
UMO-big band, which was cool but not 100% percent. Finally
I ended up making a new version with computer using
some of the new arrangement ideas I made for the big
band. I also used some congas and drum samples that
I actually had commisioned from Mongo Aaltonen and Mikko
Hassinen for some other tracks.
5. Black Hole
This was recorded with my band in London
at Sonica as well. We did a live video for this one
which is quite funny. The lyrics are about the end and
the beginning of universe which is all packed in one
singularity and will explode again to make a new universe,
but with different rules.
6. Dirty Jimi
I guess it's clear this one was influenced
by Dirty Harry. I guess I have to admit by now that
I have this thing about film music. The great thing
about film music is the length. Things don't take for
ever. I tend to keep my tracks at 4 and half minutes,
but the style is quite "movie". Same horn
section as in Black Hole: Mike Kearsey (trombone), Terry
Edwards (also and baritone sax, trumpet), John Scott
(trumpet) and me (tenor sax and flute)
This track is pretty much influenced
by 70's heavy metal and psychedelic rock stuff. Already
from the very beginning I thought that the vocals must
have the reverse reverb effect. I actually did that
in the old school way turning the tape backwards in
the tape machine. I find stuff like that easier to do
that way and the results tend to sound better than using
computer effects. Chris Dawkins played the guitar and
that shifted the song quite a lot the Jimi Hendrix -land.
I like that a lot! Tapiola is the land of the King of
the Forests. In Finland they have these places in the
woods where they used to sacrifice stuff for the gods.
In this song the sacrifice is a naked virgin.
8. Spending Time
People say some of these vocals sound
like Zappa. I guess so. I'm not an expert on Zappa at
all. I tried to do a sweaty erotic track and this is
the result. I bought a recorder from a flea market and
I played some lines with that. I think after seeing
"Wicker Man" the recorder didn't seem so uncool
9. Let the music
Very similar production style as Good
Day. I kept asking more and more people do overdubs
for this one as the recording went along. I used my
regular horn guys Jay Kortehisto and Jukka Eskola for
the horn section. Well, and myself playing sax and flute.
Maurice (Fulton) listened to this and
said that he's not any more into the "art music".
Well, I am. I sometimes get mad at myself because I
use more computers and electronic stuff than I use my
sax. So I made this long line and played it many times
from different keys many times with my sax. Together
they made this really soft chord that moves up and down
with the line. I thought this sounded really sad so
I played a sax solo on top that screams out of pain.
The pain is the sadness of an expatriot. In my case:
I miss the Finnish nature a lot sometimes.
11. Nuclear Fusion
Another track made with UMO big band.
I play the photophone on this one. You can hear that
in the intro and the following ambient bit.
This is the only big arrangement that I've ever written
without the help of a computer. My computers were stolen
and I had a deadline to finish this track. So I had
to write it with pencil and paper. Funnily enough it
was almost faster than with computer.
I don't normally write stuff starting
with piano, but this one I did. I was fooling around
with these chords and I played a moog bass line on top
of the rhodes-piano. Then I made the flute melody. I
sent off the ADAT to Finland and asked my guys to do
percussion, drums and horns overdubs. I always have
a jazz-waltz on my record. Well, there are three on
this album: Trumpcard, Nuclear Fusion and Stargazing
(although the intro Nuclear goes in 4/4 timing).
Planes track-by-track - Jimi's comments in Japanese
Planes album info
Tenor explains Higher Planes (realaudio)
Tenor explains Higher Planes (lyrics)
Hole (mp3 download)