Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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 Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Minor Step" CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Combsy" CD/LP/Track Review Combsy
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Speechless" CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 16, 2017

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!