All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Koichi Yabori: Elevation


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


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles







Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Invisible Threads" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Threads
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "Tensegridad" CD/LP/Track Review Tensegridad
by John Sharpe
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Donora Autumn" CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Common Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Common Ground
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 2, 2017