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sinikka LangelandWhat a beautiful noise: Sinikka Langeland and her kantele. Photograph: Morten Krogvold

Dave Gelly

Sunday 7 August 2016 08.00 BST


The combination of jazz and Scandinavian folk music, which the ECM label pioneered, is sometimes accused of being chilly and remote, but this is different. Sinikka Langeland plays a kind of tabletop harp, or zither, called a kantele, and its homely, plangent tones permeate the music. She accompanies herself singing songs based on myths and legends. The English translations in the booklet are almost as inscrutable as the original Finnish, although they sound beautiful. There are improvised duets for trumpet and tenor saxophone and sweet vocal harmonies by the Trio Mediaeval. A little of this may go a long way with some jazz lovers, but catch it at the right moment and it can grow on you.

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