Keisuke Kishi: Elsewhere

Dan McClenaghan By

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Keisuke Kishi: Elsewhere
The album is titled Elsewhere. It is the work of Japanese drummer Keisuke Kishi, who is based in New York. But where is elsewhere? Is it the western shore of Oahu, an area of stark landscapes and poverty, in relative isolation from the bustling tourism of Waikiki? Or is it Bagamoyo, Tanzania? The album's cover art features a photo from Bagamoyo. Kishi has spent time in both of these locales. Or is elsewhere East Village, New York City, Kishi's home ground since 2018?

The music on Elsewhere sounds as if it was born in exotic locales. It is a mostly piano trio album—featuring four different pianists. And throw in some Fender Rhodes, electric keyboards, a guitar (on one tune), an Ilimba (one tune) and a saxophone (one tune).

Kishi's distinctive drumming is a prominent feature. He is a stylist, in his own way, in the manner of Jon Christensen and Paul Motian, using his artistry to explore an array of cultures, lands, religions and identities, expressing his thoughts on six of his own compositions along with Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow" and Keali'i Reichel's "E O Mai."

Beginning with the pensive "Shade of Tree," with Eishin Nose on piano, then moving into "Over The Rainbow," featuring Jun Sugiura on piano, with the trio painting a soundscape of mystery and positivity. "Laulea" mixes a Kishi's handpan, drums and percussion into an alien orchestra, followed by the lovely piano trio bounce of "Torii," featuring pianist Ben Paterson, leading into another handpan and percussion rumination on "Kahakai Mehana."

Elsewhere—produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by the album's bassist Nori Naraoka—features a ringing clarity of sound and a cohesive expression of Kishi's musical vision. The title tune—which gives off a vibe not unlike The Beatles' "Revolution 9," from the Fab Four's 1968 Apple Records masterpiece, The Beatles—wraps up the show in a wonderfully enigmatic way.

Track Listing

Shade of Tree; Over the Rainbow; Laulea; Torii; Kahakai Mehana; E O Mai; Lockdown; Elsewhere.


Keisuke Kishi: drums; Nori Naraoka: bass; Ben Paterson: piano; Calvin Johnson: saxophone; Rod Williams: piano; Jun Sugiura: piano; Masaharu Shimizu: guitar; Eishin Nose: piano; Msafiri Zawose: percussion.

Album information

Title: Elsewhere | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced

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