Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

264

Chie Imaizumi: Chie Imaizumi: Unfailing Kindness

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Chie Imaizumi
Unfailing Kindness
Capri Records
2007

Thanks, Greg. Sometimes all it takes to launch a promising career is a chance meeting, in this case between trumpeter Greg Gisbert and young composer/arranger Chie Imaizumi. The two met in March 2005 at the Jazz Standard in NYC, where Gisbert was playing with Maria Schneider's orchestra. Imaizumi asked Gisbert if she might send him a demo tape she had made at the North Sea Jazz Festival to elicit his opinion about her writing. The result of that modest request is Imaizumi's remarkable debut album, Unfailing Kindness, for which Gisbert found a label, chose the musicians, set up rehearsals and unearthed gigs at the Dazzle nightclub in Denver to hone the band's chops before going into the studio to record.

Yes, Gisbert was duly impressed by Imaizumi's undiscovered talent, as I daresay you will be too. Imaizumi (pronounced ee-my-zoo-mee) began playing the organ at age four in Saitama, Japan, then switched to piano while studying at Senzoku Gakuen Junior College in Kanagawa. After enrolling at the Berklee College of Music in 2001, she shifted her focus to writing and arranging and won the Herb Pomeroy Award for Composing in 2003. Imaizumi performed her own compositions at the North Sea event a year later, hence the demo tape she sent to Gisbert.

Stylistically, Imaizumi reminds me of another superb Japanese composer/pianist, Toshiko Akiyoshi, deftly blending influences from East and West into a varied banquet that is not only melodically and harmonically pleasing but swings in the best jazz tradition. It takes a moment or so to connect with the opening number, "Change For The Better, but once the bond has been formed one can't be less than energized by its indelible refrain and irresistible West Indian rhythms, leading to incandescent solos by Gisbert, baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, percussionist Manavihare "Mimy Fiaindratovo and pianist Jeff Jenkins.

Much of Imaizumi's music is thematic. "The More The Merrier is a buoyant party song with a conspicuous New Orleans vibe, "Unfailing Kindness a heartfelt homage in 5/4 time to the composer's family who have always stood by her. Jenkins and trombonist Alex Heitlinger solo on "Merrier, soprano saxphonist John Gunther and tenor saxophonist Peter Sommer on "Kindness. Imaizumi wrote the pensive "Lonely... to describe her ambivalent emotions while on tour in Europe, and the edgy "Adversity to underline the ceaseless struggles one encounters in life. Gisbert (on flugelhorn) and guitarist Mike Abbott share solo honors on "Lonely..., Abbott, Jenkins and trumpeter Ron Miles on "Adversity.

No session is complete, of course, without one impulsive flag-waver, and Imaizumi provides it with "Round And Round, a bop-oriented wailer based on rhythm changes with some capricious twists to reinforce fiery statements by Gisbert, Smulyan, Fiaindratovo and drummer Paul Romaine. The last track, "Another Day, is a gospel-flavored homily about overcoming unpleasant experiences and moving forward toward a brighter and more productive tomorrow. Lyric by Tsunenori "Lee Abe, vocal by Jeremy Ragsdale, alto saxophone solo by Gunther.

Let's hope that Imaizumi's impressive entrée signals the emergence of a new wave of talented young jazz composers and arrangers. If she has any more tunes like these in the trunk, there's no doubt we'll be hearing more from her, and soon. Oh, and thanks again, Greg.


Tracks: A Change For The Better; The More The Merrier; Unfailing Kindness; Lonely...; Round And Round; Adversity; Another Day.

Personnel: Chie Imaizumi: composer, arranger; Greg Gisbert, Ron Miles: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Gunther: alto, soprano saxophone, flute, didgeridoo; Peter Sommer: tenor, soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Alex Heitlinger: trombone; Mike Abbott: guitar; Jeff Jenkins: piano, Hammond B3 organ; Mark Simon: bass; Paul Romaine: drums; Manavihare "Mimy Fiaindratovo: percussion; Jeremy Ragsdale: vocal (7).


Track Listing: A Change for the Better; The More the Merrier; Unfailing Kindness; Lonely . . .; Round and Round; Adversity; Another Day (56:06).

Personnel: Chie Imaizumi: composer, arranger; Greg Gisbert, Ron Miles: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Gunther: alto, soprano sax, flute, didgeridoo; Peter Sommer: tenor, soprano sax, flute, clarinet; Gary Smulyan: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Alex Heitlinger: trombone; Mike Abbott: guitar; Jeff Jenkins: piano, Hammond B3 organ; Mark Simon: bass; Paul Romaine: drums; Manavihare

Title: Chie Imaizumi: Unfailing Kindness | Year Released: 2007

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's" Extended Analysis The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)" Extended Analysis Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
by John Kelman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon" Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Phish: St. Louis '93" Extended Analysis Phish: St. Louis '93
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis: The Stone House" Extended Analysis Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis: The Stone House
by John Kelman
Published: March 4, 2017