5

Yuko Togami: Dawn

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Yuko Togami: Dawn
Drummer Yuko Togami's Dawn arrives as a beautiful surprise. It is the debut of the Japanese-born and now New York-based artist. Debut sets don't carry great expectations—one hopes for competence and a hint of a flair for the art form, the occasional creative spark shooting up from an otherwise acceptable but perhaps mediocre effort. For a newcomer to the scene, this would be a success. Yet Dawn rises up over the horizon with a bright glow that takes things well beyond the scope of the run-of-the-mill debut.

Togami's Dawn is a piano trio outing—one of the more difficult arenas to render distinctively—with keyboardist Takaaki Otomo's Fender Rhodes sitting in on one tune, and pianist Ben Paterson switching in on organ on another. The line-up shifts. Otomo and Paterson share the piano duties; Jakob Dreyer and Nori Naraoka shuffle in and out on bass. And yet a start-to-finish cohesion and a focus of vision pervades.

The Togami-penned "Noctiluca" opens the set. A pensive and inward tune that would fit well into a Bill Evans set, featuring Otomo's delicate keyboard touch and Jacob Dryer's big, warm bass sound—and an almost subliminal-but-elevating percussion contribution (in the beginning; the energy builds) from the leader. It's a melody that has a classic feeling to it, that veers into a quirky wandering segment that shifts back into introspective loveliness.

"Got To Get There," another Togami tune, features Otomo's Fender Rhodes in a sort of light-stepping funk, and "Why Not?" prances with an appealing insouciance, Ben Paterson's piano dancing inside a rock solid rhythm.

"Firstbornes," a group improvisation, rambles into an amiable gallop before fading away.

George Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy," the first of three covers, has never sounded more beautiful. Delivered with supreme patience, it is a spare examination of the classic melody that can stand with most any version of the song you can find. Takaaki Otomo is as emotive as a pianist can be here.

"Stolen Moments," Oliver Nelson's opening cut on his classic album Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse! Records, 1961), doesn't seem like a vehicle for an organ trio sound. Ben Paterson makes it so with a muscular B3 breeze punctuated by Togami's sharp percussion and a deeply swinging groove.

The solemn "Autumn Path"—on which Togami takes the piano chair—closes the disc on a thoughtful, reverent note, for a fine conclusion to surprisingly fine debut.

Track Listing

Noctiluca; Got to Be There; Why Not; Firstborns; I Loves You, Porgy; Stolen Moments; Chan's Song (Never Said); Autumn Path.

Personnel

Yuko Togami: drums, piano (8); Takaaki Otomo: piano (1, 4, 5), Fender Rhodes; Ben Paterson: piano (3, 7), organ (6); Jakob Dreyer: bass (1, 2, 5); Nori Naraoka: bass (3, 4, 6, 7).

Album information

Title: Dawn | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian
Read Unnavigable Tributaries
Unnavigable Tributaries
Vicente / Brice / Sanders
Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.