Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Jun Iida: Evergreen

8

Jun Iida: Evergreen

By

Sign in to view read count
Jun Iida: Evergreen
Evergreen from trumpeter/flugelhornist Jun Iida is a textural panorama of multi-cultural jazz flavors, offering original and known fare. Each of the ten tracks is a portrait, and they display fine solo and ensemble playing. To describe Evergreen in one word is to call it "intriguing."

"Gooey Butter Cake," one of six originals from Iida, opens things in a jovial, hippity-hop, New Orleans-esque groove which develops into a trumpet-bass solo ride, with solos following from pianist Josh Nelson and guitarist Masami Kuroki, finishing up with vocalist Aubrey Johnson's unison scatting melody with Iida. "Akatombo" is a slower vocal, featuring Johnson singing the Japanese children's tune over Nelson's piano. The title track, "Evergreen" is a melodic grabber, with Iida and a unisoned Johnson laying down the melody before the trumpeter takes off on a well-spun ride and the track builds to an exciting climax.

Iida's trumpet delivers a lush, mellow tone. His improvisations are thoughtfully presented, surprisingly inventive, and highly inflected with ornamentations both classic jazz and Japanese-inflected elements. He swings in a style which is totally unique. Johnson's voice is a gymnastic feast; her unison scatting is dead-on pitch, and adds shimmer to accompanying horn lines. The rhythm section of Josh Nelson, guitarist Masami Huroki, bassist Jonathan Richards. and drummer Xavier Lecouturier is highly engaged and supportive throughout the date.

The infrequently recorded Elmo Hope & Sonny Rollins bop tune "Bellarosa" is a marvelous and slyly subtle salute to Clifford Brown, who brought the joyous tune to the forefront in the '50s. Iida and Johnson cover the tune in unison. Guitarist Masami Kuroki launches the solo parade before Iida puts on his beret-clad best and Nelson goes forth. A favorite ballad among jazz artists, the "Love Theme from Spartacus" has Iida's luscious horn deeply moving. The presentation here is sublime with Nelson fluttering, a perfect partner. This and the subsequent "Song for Luke" are balladic highlights. The lovely melody of "Holding on to Autumn," with Johnson and Iida shining in melodic play, concludes the session.

Evergreen is a texturally-varied debut album from Iida and his exceptional musicians. It is colorful and, at times, enchanting, stimulating both ear and mind.

Track Listing

Gooey Butter Cake; Akatombo; Evergreen; Shiki no Uta; Bellarosa; Forgotten Memories; Love Theme from Spartacus; My Anguish in Solidarity; Song for Luke; Holding On to Autumn.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Evergreen | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: OA2 Records


< Previous
Farfuglar

Comments

Tags

Concerts

Apr 13 Sat
Apr 28 Sun
May 9 Thu
Jun 14 Fri

For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Moab
Garza / Fawcett / Wojtowicz
Gifts
Dave Douglas
Circles
Friends & Neighbors

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.