265

Toru Dodo: Dodo 3

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Toru Dodo: Dodo 3 Based on the notes of this very engrossing release, Toru Dodo has a quirky sense of humor and would get a good laugh out of Dave Barry's book, Dave Barry Does Japan. His latest recording, Dodo 3, is so full of life, happiness, humor, fine compositions and just plain good playing as to set it apart from run-of-the-mill piano trio records.

Since the tunes are predominantly originals (except for Cedar Walton's "Bolivia," "My Romance," by Richard Rodgers, and an arrangement of a theme from Japanese TV), it is easier to judge Dodo's originality. While records of standards by any player can give the listener insight into the player's mind, (see, for instance, Loren Stillman's 2006 Steeplechase release, Trio Alto Volume 1) originals, while having no benchmark so to speak, allow a much deeper look into an artist's musical persona.

After winning the Berklee College of Music Performance Award in 1996 and the Herb Pomeroy Award in 1997, Dodo moved to New York City in 1998. Indeed, "NYUCS" (New York Underground Car Service) is his paean to the city and brings together many interesting aspects of Dodo's style. Weaving in recorded train announcements and subway sounds, the music rushes forward in fits and starts, almost demonically supported by bassist Joseph Lapore and drummer Rodney Green. The track brims with energy and provides a good musical picture of the controlled anarchy that is the NYC subway system.

To these ears, however, it is the next track, "A Spiral Staircase," which is the most engrossing on the record, due to the mystifying scale that is used as its basis. Not quite major, minor or whole tone, the scale used really does climb and continually turn in on itself (hence, the title). The mood created is one that is very modern, eerie and yet completely logical, which keeps the listener constantly off balance.

Lapore and Green are an integral part of the trio and have an equal voice in the trio's sound, especially when not soloing. Dodo has clearly encouraged active participation of every member, so that while he remains up front when all three play, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Dodo in not afraid to play a standard, and in "My Romance" he shows us how a piano can actually sing, despite being a percussion instrument—one of the highest goals of a classical player. Full of emotion and communicating directly to the listener, Dodo's playing shows us a deep part of who he is. Surrounding this particular standard with his originals is very effective and the contrast focuses the listener's attention.

Dodo, as evidenced on Dodo 3, clearly deserves greater recognition, which cannot help but happen even if he lives in New York City but roots for the Boston Red Sox! Recommended.


Track Listing: R or B; Bolivia; Boneless & Skinless; Inside Bubbles; NYUCS (New York Underground Car Service); A Spiral Escalator; Arabesuque; Giacomo Swing; Brush Pitch; My Romance; For Mr. M (Sazae's Theme); T. Dog's Theme.

Personnel: Toru Dodo: piano; Joseph Lepore: bass; Rodney Green: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Jazz City | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground
by James Nadal
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Invisible Man" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Man
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017

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!