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Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

9

Album Review

Natsuki Tamura: Koki Solo

Read "Koki Solo" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Birthday celebrations have found their way into jazz recordings since the Louis Armstrong era. Illinois Jacquet, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and Jaco Pastorius have directly baked the cake into album titles while other artists have taken an indirect approach to celebrating. Satoko Fujii broke the mold in 2019 with a new release each month in commemoration of her sixtieth birthday. Now her partner and frequent collaborator, Natsuki Tamura takes a page from Fujii's book with his solo recording Koki Solo. ...

8

Album Review

Natsuki Tamura: Koki Solo

Read "Koki Solo" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


In 1983, pop vocalist Cyndi Lauper said, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun." She probably still sings it. Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura has always wanted to have fun, too, playing--in his early days--jazz standards in Japanese clubs where hostesses in negligees sat at stage-side tables drinking room temperature tea masquerading as whiskey at the expense of ardent customers. From there, Tamura's artistry evolved to making trumpet noises that sound like a love sick duck, or a flatulent hedgehog (and so much ...

11

Album Review

Gato Libre: Koneko

Read "Koneko" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Gato Libre has long represented the anthesis of the larger Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii portfolio. Haunting melodies and striking improvisations have been the mark of the group throughout their quarter-century of work. Trumpeter Tamura and partner/accordionist Fujii have been the pillars of the group since its debut, Strange Village (Muzak Inc, 2005). Bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu passed away in 2011, and guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura in 2015, shortly after trombonist Yasuko Kaneko first appeared on Gato Libre's DuDu (Libra Records, 2014). ...

6

Album Review

Gato Libre: DuDu

Read "DuDu" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura's quartet Gato Libre has always recorded stimulating, progressive music heavily laced with a Spanish lyricism. DuDu is no exception. “Mouse" is the prime example of this. On it the musicians push far the harmonic boundaries of their respective instruments creating delightfully jarring cacophony intertwined with intensely melodic explorations.Despite the personnel change after bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu's untimely death, the group remains remarkable cohesive. The new recruit, trombonist Yasuko Kaneko brings a warm fluidity to the bottom ...

6

Album Review

Gato Libre: DuDu

Read "DuDu" reviewed by John Sharpe


The fifth album by Gato Libre, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura's acoustic quartet, is the first since the sudden death of bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu in 2011. Having thought long and hard about whether to continue, Tamura recruited trombonist Yasuko Kaneko as a replacement. While the European folk music inspiration of previous outings like Shiro (Libra Records, 2009) and Forever (Libra Records, 2012) remains intact, the change has engendered more the feel of a chamber outfit, albeit one at times crossed with a ...

14

Album Review

Gato Libre: DuDu

Read "DuDu" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


There are a lot of high energy, wild and out there sounds screaming around in Natsuki Tamura's discography--the explosively electric Hada Hada (Libra Records, 2002), the sizzling Exit (Libra Records, 2004), and any number of unfettered collaborations with his wife, pianist Satoko Fujii. But his Gato Libre discs are one of the Japanese trumpeter's more laid-back methods of expression. An acoustic quartet that explores European folk themes in a tranquil and occasionally off-center way, the five previous sets by the ...

10

Extended Analysis

Natsuki Tamura: Dragon Nat

Read "Natsuki Tamura: Dragon Nat" reviewed by Dave Wayne


The instrumentalist begins his career as, essentially, a solo artist. Whether is practicing long tones or scales or drum rudiments, nearly everyone who plays a musical instrument starts out unaccompanied. On the road to mastery, most musicians spend thousands of hours playing alone. In jazz, solo recordings by musicians other than pianists or guitarists are a relatively recent phenomenon, and the prospect of listening to a horn or drum soloist playing unaccompanied for an hour or more may seem daunting, ...


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