OK:KO is a fresh quartet from Helsinki led by drummer Okko Saastamoinen. The band’s spiritual and searching sound is characterised by their highly personal musical language and genuine teamwork, honed by continuous touring in between the band’s 2017 debut and their second album “Syrtti”, to be released on Helsinki’s We Jazz Records on 22 February.
The ensemble includes some of the most sought-after talents of the young generation of Finnish jazz. Soulful sax player Jarno Tikka continues his rise to the top after his strong effort on the previous We Jazz LP, Alder Ego “II”. Bassist Mikael Saastamoinen (no relation to Okko) is the current “Rising Star” of Helsinki’s We Jazz Festival with his solo project Perussastamala, and while pianist Toomas Keski-Säntti may be the least known name here, he makes a strong mark with his thoughtful touch on the piano on several tracks on “Syrtti”.
The OK:KO band sound has its origins on the spiritual pool of jazz, historically speaking, but the band brings forth a strong personal musical statement thanks to Okko Saastamoinen’s memorable compositions and each musician’s ability to bring their own vocabulary into the common musical language. Already a live favourite on the local scene, on “Syrtti” OK:KO shows that it’s not a band of mere promise any longer – they deliver in the here and now.