A Closer Look
Kazumi Ikenaga - drums
John Lockwood - bass
Bert Seager - piano
The music on this new CD, KJB’s second, expresses a quiet warmth. In their use of rich harmony and singable melodic improvisation, one senses immediately that the sounds were made with great care and love. The quality of the listening is what draws one into the space of the music on this recording. This music, though based in the traditions of jazz piano trio, has a breathing conversant quality where interaction rather than role-playing is emphasized.
“On this, our second CD, we chose to take a closer look at some tunes
that we have loved and played for years. In recording these takes
on two consecutive February afternoons (all first takes, except for
the new tune "Don't Go"), by simply choosing a new tempo
or time signature, we gave ourselves the opportunity to hear
these songs in a fresh way. Listening deeply together
with my old friends, John, Kazumi and I could more easily
enjoy the trust and creativity that arose naturally,
and it became a little clearer why we play.”
The band is called KJB (short for Kazumi, John and Bert). This is our second CD. Our attention and listening were focused in the studio those two days. Much of what resulted was beautiful and I am happy to share this music with you.
Kazumi Ikenaga, my friend, the Japanese drummer has been doing very well back in Japan. He now teaches at the university in Tokyo with Japan’s pre-eminent jazz department. His drum sounds are always made with great care with special emphasis on the music’s buoyancy. Every year for the past nine years, Kazumi has invited me to play with him on tour for two weeks in Japan. I just returned on Friday from a two week tour there where we finished up by playing for an hour on NHK, the equivalent of Japanese National Public Radio where we played before a live studio audience.
John Lockwood, my good friend in Boston, sounds great on this new recording.
His tone and choice of notes has a singing quality that is particularly noticeable in his solos. His time feel and intonation and the conversant nature of his ideas
are all a constant source of inspiration to me. I play with him almost every week in Boston in the Atrium Lounge throughout the year and we have a comfortable and intimate rapport.
The CD cover that we designed is appealing and I hope you will think so too. Karin Rosenthal, who has had a lot of success photographing nudes, mysteriously reflected and partially submerged in water, supplied a striking black and white image for our cover