All About Jazz
Pianist Taeko Kunishima's third record, Late Autumn,
is an exciting work full of intriguing compositions, diverse instrumentation
and top-notch performances. Any one or two of these attributes, as manifested
on this album, would be enough to carry the day, but the presence of all three
makes for a must-hear release...
To date, Taeko Kunishima's live work has been focused in the UK, Germany and Japan. This
thoroughly modern and captivating record may be one to help her break through
to a more global audience, including casual jazz fans looking for something new
but also the aficionado in need of uncharted terrain to explore. Taeko
Kunishima's Late Autumn is the perfect storm of repertoire, arrangements
and players, with something for everyone. (Lawrence Peryer)
On this, her third album for 33Jazz, Shizuoka-born,
London-based pianist Taeko Kunishima has retained only shakahuchi player Clive
Bell from her previous recording, Red Dragonfly, but the energy level attained
on that fine album remains undimmed here, provided by trumpeter Sean Corby,
bassist Paul Moylan, and drummer Maxwell Hallett, supplemented by percussionist
David Ross and (on the title-track) by vocalist Rio Roberts.
Instead of the relatively conventional line-up of Red
Dragonfly (the core band of which was a piano trio plus saxophonist Russell Van
Den Berg), Late Autumn sets the composer/leader's alternately punchy and
lyrical piano against an intriguing mix of trumpet and flute, tastefully
tweaked and occasionally embellished electronically by producer Bell.
The all-original material ranges from the texturally
adventurous, stirring "Return to Life", its pleasingly splintered, somewhat
woozy theme giving rise to vigorous piano and flaring trumpet solos; the
alternately slinky and infectiously brisk "Kimie"; the appropriately softly
pattering "Spring Rain"; and the lighter, brighter percussion-driven piece
"Promise", but whatever they're asked to play, the band cohere impressively,
Bell's shakuhachi in particular lending the whole album a welcome
distinctiveness. Imaginative, unexpectedly varied, powerful but sensitive music
from a pianist who should be much better known. (Chris Parker)
Played with an outstanding sense of rhythm, combining flexible and firm. Beginning
with solo trumpet, the shakuhachi effectively offers exotic, oriental colouring.
Then cunning cyber-effects (eg distorted or over-amped trumpet and piano) spring
surprises round every corner. It’s a kaleidoscopic journey that will keep listeners bemused. Kunishima is an ancient Ninja, giving an outstanding, dignified performance.
More information: http://www.taeko.co.uk email email@example.com