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Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio: A Shade Of Blue

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Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio: A Shade Of Blue
Japanese pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto's Shade Of Blue is a classic trio outing, old school style. It sounds as if the ghost of Red Garland is hanging around, and Erroll Garner and Wynton Kelly are keeping him company. Yamamoto's trio, which includes bassist Hiroshi Kagawa and drummer Toshio Osumi—venerable musicians all—lays down a flawless set of familiar standards, a couple of Yamamoto originals and a pop tune from the Barbra Streisand songbook, all with a fine-tuned grace.

"Speedball Blues," a Yamamoto original, opens the show. The pianist's crisp and light touch is on full display. Kagawa and Osumi dig a deep groove, and the trio rolls with it. The sound brings back memories of 1950s piano trio jazz, when Ahmad Jamal and the previously mentioned Red Garland released album after album of first-rate piano trio offerings.

Kurt Weil's often covered "Speak Low" is up next. Yamamoto opens it with a dreamy delicacy that shifts into jaunty bustle as his trio mates enter. The momentum is cranked up high—Kagawa's brisk walking bass line and Osumi's irrepressible backbeat. Then a surprise, "The Way We Were," made famous by Barbra Streisand in 1973. Streisand's version was an anthem. Yamamoto's take here is deeply, beautifully sad. It is followed by the optimistic "Like Someone In Love," laid down with a pep in its step. Everyone has covered this tune. This trio rendition proves it swings, and that—done this deftly—it never gets old.

"Girl Talk," first recorded by Julie London in 1965, and later popularized by Tony Bennett, swings light and easy, and the ever-familiar "Bye Bye Black Bird" swings hard and strong. And there is much more: "Misty" from Erroll Garner, "Black is the Color" and "Last Tango In Paris," all laid down with a deep respect for the piano trio tradition.

Track Listing

Speed Ball Blues; Speak Low; The Way We Were; Like Someone In Love; Black Is The Color; Girl Talk; Midnight Sugar; Last Tango In Paris; Misty; Bye Bye Blackbird.

Personnel

Album information

Title: A Shade Of Blue | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: evosound


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