Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

342

Koichi Yabori: Elevation

By

Sign in to view read count
As the guitarist in Fragile, the legendary Japanese fusion group of the early '90s, Koichi Yabori introduced many fusion fans around the globe to the thriving Japanese fusion scene. His Pat Metheny-influenced guitar synth work filled this trio with a wall of sound. Elevation, Yabori's second solo CD from 2002, offers a more mellow vibe than Fragile's raucous fusion, using a more traditional interpretation of the jazz guitar trio format.



Elevation shows two different flavors of Yabori's guitar work, acoustic and clean electric, yet both in the jazz trio format with bass and drums. The album begins on a mellow note with "Addicted to Jazz" and "Mime #1," both featuring Yabori's acoustic guitar. The timbre sounds like a nylon-stringed classical guitar, which adds to the somber vibe. Yabori doesn't switch to clean jazz electric guitar until the third song, "Elevation #21," which also features a snappy drum break. "Rat Race" offers the album's only moments of thick distorted guitar and chaotic fusion beats. After the clean electric ballad "9 P.M. Cruise," the acoustic guitar returns for the snappy groove of "Dig It." The CD concludes with two bonus tracks, including an electric guitar version of the album's opening track.



The electric guitar/acoustic guitar dichotomy contrasts these two sides of Yabori's playing. In addition, the order of the tracks lets Elevation start with the somber acoustic guitar, build through an electric ballad to the fusion stomp "Rat Race," then cool down with another ballad and more acoustic guitar. Yabori's composing skills also shine as sole composer of seven of the ten tracks. The playing by all three musicians is top-notch, including fretless leads by bassist Jiro Okadai and snappy snare work by drummer Hideo Yamaki.



Elevation is most likely going to have strongest appeal for fans of mellow jazz guitar and fans of Fragile who want to hear this more traditional side of Yabori's work. Look for Yabori's third solo record, Guess Where, due out this month.


Track Listing: 1. Addicted to Jazz; 2. Mime #1; 3. Elevation #21; 4. Subscription; 5. Rat Race; 6. No Crunch; 7. 9 P.M. Cruise; 8. Dig It; 9. Addicted to Jazz (Electric Version); 10. Autumn Leaves.

Personnel: Koichi Yabori -- guitar; Jiro Okadai -- bass; Hideo Yamaki -- drums.

Title: Elevation | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Shiosai/ZiZo

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read One Night in Indy CD/LP/Track Review One Night in Indy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 15, 2018
Read A Sky You Could Strike a Match On CD/LP/Track Review A Sky You Could Strike a Match On
by Patrick Burnette
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Open Borders CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 14, 2018
Read can't believe, won't believe CD/LP/Track Review can't believe, won't believe
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Karyobin" CD/LP/Track Review Karyobin
by John Eyles
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Anniversary Package; Lab 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Anniversary Package; Lab 2017
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965" CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017