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Toru Dodo: Dodo 3 (2007)

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Toru Dodo: Dodo 3 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Pianist and composer Toru Dodo was born in Tokyo in 1972 and has been living in New York for the past eleven years. Dodo3 is, as you'd suspect, his third release on the Japanese label Jazz City. This album was originally released in Japan in 2006 and was made available in the U.S. in 2007. As in the past, he records in a piano trio format, although I've previously heard him as the pianist for drummer Peter Zimmer's band.

Toru Dodo's band mates for this session are bassist Joseph Lepore and drummer Rodney Green. His presentation of mostly original material provides a good showcase of his compositional abilities. The two exceptions are Cedar Walton's "Bolivia" and a sparkling solo performance of Rodgers and Hart's "My Romance." The opening "R or B" is a busy and appropriate tune which somehow displays his apparently classical techniques. On "Arabesque," taken at a more relaxed tempo, Dodo brings the touch of Debussy into play.

I rather liked the infectious "Boneless & Skinless," while "NYUCS (New York Underground Car Service)" samples a subway conductor's announcements during a brief transit ride. "Giacomo Swing" is titled for classical composer Puccini and Lepore provides some tasty arco work. "For Mr. M (Sazao's Theme)" is named in reference to a Japanese animated character and is quite likeable.

Track Listing: R or B; Bolivia; Boneless & Skinless; Inside Bubbles; NYUCS (New York Underground Car Service); A Spiral Escalator; Arabesque; Giacomo Swing; Brush Pitch; My Romance; For Mr.M (Sazae's Theme); T.Dog's Theme.

Personnel: Toru Dodo: piano; Joseph Lepore: bass; Rodney Green: drums.

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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