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Eri Yamamoto Trio: Colors

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Colors , the newest offering by pianist and Arthur's Tavern regular Eri Yamamoto, is comprised primarily of striking originals, entitled with Chaplinesque brevity and marked by an eloquent use of understatement, giving Yamamoto, drummer Ikuo Takeuchi, and bassist Ben Street generous space in which they can all work effectively.

The funky "Orange Juice" starts things off, with Yamamoto dancing around the edges of the constantly shifting melody, then soloing with a soft intensity as Takeuchi and Street build a strong foundation behind her. "A Song" finds Yamamoto playing with a deft gospel tinge, Street's strong pizzicato and Takeuchi's brushes providing a compelling counterpoint. The trio dances through the nimble-footed theme of "Come This Way," which features a fine solo by Street.

"Reflection" is as introspective as its title implies, with more brushing by Takeuchi whispering beneath Yamamoto's intricate embroidery. "Color" is played in the style and tradition of the Jarrett/ Peacock/DeJohnette trio and Yamamoto handles Charlie Parker's "Moose the Mooche" with exuberance and good humor. "Eyesight" melds classical and blues, highlighted by Takeuchi's drums.

"Cozy Room" is built on simple, uncluttered chords which Yamamoto incorporates into well-articulated ideas. The disc ends with its highlight, a lovely rendition of Duke Ellington's "Sunset and the Mockingbird," on which Yamamoto trills along the keys like the avian title character as Street's wonderful plucking and Takeuchi's drumming take the song, and this fine disc, off toward the horizon.


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