by Mika Pohjola with Chris Cheek, Matt Penman, Roberto Dani

Live at Royal Cotton Club was recorded during the 90's edition of Mika Pohjola Quartet busiest gig periods. Featuring his dedicated sidemen, saxophonist Chris Cheek, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Roberto Dani, Pohjola wrote all material for this group himself, featuring no standards in their active performing or recording repertoire. Apart from the stylistically varied compositions, it is undeniably Cheek's virtuosic and harmonically enriching tenor and soprano saxophones which stand in the center of the drive and energy of the music. However, the trio, which is also documented live in a standalone setting on their marvellous Blue Note recording Live in New York as well as on Live Around Europe, support here Cheek's flawless dribbles throughout Pohjola's intricate forms and harmonic structures.

This repertoire can also be heard in somewhat more elaborate arrangements on Pohjola's first three ensemble studio albums from the mid 90s, Myths & Beliefs (1996, GM Recordings), featuring guitarist Mick Goodrick, The Secret of the Castle and Announcement, the two latter ones featuring Cheek.