344

Toru Dodo: Do You Like Cappuccino?

By

Sign in to view read count
Toru Dodo: Do You Like Cappuccino? Listeners who look to a musician's collegiate trajectory for elucidation on his craft may find themselves at a loss, but Toru Dodo's biography gives us something to work with right away. Prior to studying at Berklee College of Music, Dodo attended Meiji University in Tokyo, where he got a degree in Economics. His intellectual preparation seems to inform his work as a pianist in an unexpected way: Dodo has a gift for clean, sparse arrangements that never sound bloated, and he is able to focus on minutiae without neglecting conceptual broadness.

On "In a Sentimental Mood" and "Air," Dodo's deft fingers oscillate between restlessness and pensiveness, producing two sensuous lived-in renditions that stand apart as album highlights. They are modest in form and execution, elegiac in ambiance and tone, ultimately anchored in a kind of gravity that permeates this record. The album is best when it is modestly itself; tentative attempts at breaking form resulting in hooks that sound too precious. This dissonance is apparent on "The Sahara." The beginning is beautiful, with Dodo alone on keys. David Eggar's cello is introduced teasingly and intensely; his is the sound that takes the reins. Dodo's playing becomes more gregarious at the wrong moments, overpowering the smoky ambiance, or fading into self-conscious quiet. It's an awkward miscommunication, tragic because it happens rarely on an otherwise solid disc.

"Miagetegoran Yorunohoshio" is the antithetical equivalent of the title track. The arrangement is meticulous and loving; it sounds like something to be found on the staticky, crackling records of yore—low-fi, gritty and soft. It contrasts with "Cappuccino," which seems too reminiscent of a sanitized contemporary style. It doesn't lack precision, but it does miss an immediacy and would not sound out of place in a commercial for the caffeinated commodity that is the album's cheekily-purported commercial muse.

The album's dissonances notwithstanding, Dodo is a pianist to note and his work on this album deserves accolades. His work with Eggar is especially promising, and the notion of future collaborations is a demand they must be obliged to supply.


Track Listing: Evidence; Wawawawa; Do You Like Cappuccino?; My Love Song; The Sahara; Miagetegoran Yorunohoshio; Arubabura; Manhattan Volcano; In a Sentimental Mood; Air; Impression of Aiki.

Personnel: Yasushi Nakamura: bass, electric bass; Joseph Lepore: bass; Rodney Green: drums; David Eggar: cello.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Podcast
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Lou Reed Lou Reed
guitar

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Shimmer And Melt" CD/LP/Track Review Shimmer And Melt
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!