Pertti "Veltto" Virtanen was a surprise backstage guest after the Helsinki show. Photo: Chris Gurney

Jusu Lounela and Jimi selling t-shirts and records after the Tampere show. Photo: Chris Gurney

Jimi Tenor & band featuring Nicole Willis
Finnish minitour 20 - 22 Dec 2000

The three-show Jimi Tenor minitour in Finland last week totally rocked!

The line-up for the tour was Jimi Tenor and Nicole Willis, of course, Ilkka Mattila (guitar), T. Puranen of Op:l Bastards (bass), Simon Pearson (drums) and a horn section featuring top Finnish players Markku Veijonsuo (trombone) and Mikko Pettinen (trumpet) of UMO.

Instead of two separate sets - one for Jimi, one for Nicole - as was the idea originally, they played one powerful jazz-rock-soul-funk-fusion set, which turned out to be a good idea.

The first 45 minutes of the Helsinki show was also broadcast live on Radiomafia, and hopefully heard around the world on the web.

A special treat for the final show in Tampere, was a screening of Jimi's and Jusu Lounela's short film Urinator (1994). The film-makers watched the masterpiece with quite apparent expressions of joy. Nicole, who now saw her husbands film for the first time seemed pretty amused too. And evidently this was the biggest audience for a Jimi Tenor film ever.

After leaving the venue the horn section stopped for a session with a local busker. Photo: Chris Gurney

Later on, while most of band were probably asleep in their hotel, a stray top-class horn section was spotted on the main street in Tampere jamming along with a local street musician.

New t-shirts were introduced and sold during the tour; a simple classy Jimi Tenor shirt and a Nicole Willis shirt with the logo from her album, both in black and off-white, and another Nicole shirt, white with the logo text printed in gold.

The dates:

20 Dec 00: Säätämö, Turku
21 Dec 00: Tavastia, Helsinki
22 Dec 00: Club Telex, Yo-talo, Tampere

Photos from the Tampere and Helsinki shows
Live Tracks from the Tampere show
Club Telex report at pHinnweb
Reviews: Turun Sanomat and Helsingin Sanomat