Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

17

Shu Odamura: Cloud Illusions

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist/composer Shu Odamura was born in Kyoto, Japan; graduated from the Berklee College of Music; and now lives in New York. He plays this all original set on nylon string guitar (despite the photo with electric guitar in the album liners) in a trio with bassist Yoshiki Yamada and drummer Yutaka Uchida. "Rain" opens the set with an upbeat feel and a memorable melody. It has a contemporary jazz sound, which doesn't stop Odamura and Yamada from trading fours (then twos) in bebop style—then drummer Uchida gets a turn.

Odamura has a definite affinity with Latin forms. "Viko" is a tango, while "Primera Vez" and "Say Hello To Oscar" are both sambas. The rhythm section gives each one a distinctive feel, too: there's nothing generic about the writing or the playing."Dear Boston" is the ballad of the set, showcasing guitar and double bass in duet (Yamada also plays electric bass on several tracks).

"Blue Space" starts out rubato, then settles into the blues feel promised by the title: a nice earthy contrast with the modern jazz sound of the rest of the program. There's a lovely waltz also ("Onsen Waltz") for which Uchida brings out the brushes. "Beyond The Clouds" recalls Ralph Towner with its finger-picked introduction (as had the opening tune). "Believe" closes the set on a gentle, hopeful note.

Shu Odamura makes an impressive debut with Cloud Illusions. He's not a flashy player, but possesses solid technique and a distinctive classical guitar sound; he's a fine composer; and he's got a hot, sympathetic rhythm section. Looking forward to hearing more from him.

Track Listing: Rain; Viko; Primera Vez; Dear Boston; Blue Space; Onsen Waltz; Say Hello To Oscar; Flowing Colors; Beyond The Clouds; Believe.

Personnel: Shu Odamura: guitar; Yoshiki Yamada: electric bass, double bass; Yutaka Uchida: drums.

Title: Cloud Illusions | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: What's New Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Facing Dragons" CD/LP/Track Review Facing Dragons
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 28, 2018
Read "Moksha" CD/LP/Track Review Moksha
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "A Blast From The Past" CD/LP/Track Review A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "The Astral Revelations" CD/LP/Track Review The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018