Arttu Takalo has mastered a wide selection of percussion instruments
in addition to his main instrument, a midied vibraphone. Takalo is just
as creative with samplers as with writing for, or performing with chamber
ensembles and is often called for top pop/rock sessions as a vibes player
or an arranger (Samuli Edelman, Mikko Kuustonen, Egotrippi). His background
as an orchestral percussionist led him into writing his first symphony
orchestra work "Pimeä puoli" (The Dark Half, 1996-97).
Guitarist Jarmo Saari has a convincing past as a band leader with wide
array of groups. Saari co-leads the adventurous world-jazz group ZetaBoo
("ZetaBoo", Texicalli 1997, featuring Nils Landgren) as well
as an ambitious electronica duo Reuna (a debut album coming out in the
future). He seems as comfortable and unique playing with the UMO Jazz
Orchestra (new albums out on Naxos and A-Records) or performing as a sideman
with Perko Pyysalo Poppoo ("Uuno Kailas, Vesa-Matti Loiri and Perko
Pyysalo Poppoo", Ondine Octopus 1995) or the hugely popular domestic
rock act Don Huonot ("Tähti", BMG Terrier 1999). Along
with chamber music, he has written a vast amount of big band scores, the
latest being a suite "Neandertal grooves" for Espoo Big Band
and Trilok Gurtu.
Tuure Koski is one of Finland`s most respected
jazz bass players. Koski has a masters degree from the Sibelius Academy
Jazz Department, Helsinki and has an excellent touch on both the acoustic
and the electric bass. Groups such as Mr. Fonebone and Manuel Dunkel Quartet
(Manuel Dunkel Quartet, Texicalli Impala 1998) rely heavily on his inventive
bass playing that reflects strong harmonic and communicational skills.
is a highly versatile drummer with a rare capability to handle drum set,
electric gear and percussion instruments with finesse as heard and witnessed
on XL albums and performances. Salesvuo also co-leads a modern, souljazz
organ trio Bittersweet (a debut album coming out, featuring Wayne Krantz),
which hosts one of the hippest, groovy jazz clubs in Helsinki (Rytmihäiriö).
He, as well as the rest of XL members, has done remarkable work as an
educator and worked with dozens of top international musicians of many
genres both in Finland and elsewhere.
the rich backgrounds of its players, XL is
chiefly a solid team, that aims for rich, united sound. The band has a
reputation as a band with highly visual performances, that have featured
guest artists such as Raoul Björkenheim (gtr.), Pekka Pohjola (bs.),
Anna-Mari Kähärä (voc.), Sonny Heinilä (sax.), Mongo
Aaltonen (perc.), Mikko Luoma (acc.), Petri Keskitalo (tuba), Kie von
Hertzen (gtr.), Anssi Nykänen (drs.), Mitja Tuurala (bs.), UMO Jazz
Orchestra and the 10 piece XL strings, just to name a few.
Finally, as You may have noticed, XL is an ambitious band that really
wants to make a difference.