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Piirpauke was founded in 1974 by saxophonist Sakari Kukko, bassist Antti Hytti, guitarist Hasse Walli, and drummer Jukka Wasama. It has been considered one of the very first “world music” groups, and thus way ahead of its time. The ensemble played their first gigs in 1974, originally named as the Walli–Kukko quartet.
Piirpauke was affected by folk music from Finland, Romania, Turkey, Ethiopia, Balkans, South America, and the Far East. Before recording the album Piirpauke, the band played in front of a live audience at the Liisankatu studios of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. Their performance included two tunes that were also recorded later for Piirpauke, that is, Kuunnousu and Konevitsan kirkonkellot. The arrangements of these traditional melodies were worked out collectively by the whole ensemble. Furthermore, Piirpauke performed Sven Ali which is an original composition by Sakari Kukko.
Saxophonist Tapio “Tuuppi” Tuominen founded the Wasama–Tuominen Trio in the early 1970s together with drummer Jukka Wasama and bassist Olli-Pekka Wasama. Besides American jazz, their role models were European jazz musicians like English saxophonist John Surman and his famous trio. The Wasama–Tuominen Trio performed at the Liisankatu studios on 20 June 1973. The live recording of that concert has been released on Jazz Liisa vol. 7.
Two years later Tuominen and Jukka Wasama were back at the Liisankatu studios. This time the line-up did not include Olli-Pekka Wasama who had begun to assist the Finnish National Opera Orchestra at that time. Instead, Jorma Koivulehto played bass in the concert.