272

The Steve Elmer Trio: Fire Down Below

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
The Steve Elmer Trio: Fire Down Below From banging on desktops to banging the keys, Steve Elmer has come a long way. Once rejected as a drummer for a school jazz band, he kept at it, honing his craft through formal education and ultimately turning to the piano.

Elmer and sidemen Shingo Okudaira and Hide Tanaka, began playing together just three years ago. However, after the popularity of I Used to Be Anonymous (self-produced, 2006), the trio was invited for a three-week, 2,500-mile tour of Japan. That paved the way for their second release: Fire Down Below.

"Sister Joan" is one of those songs that's good for the circulation. It's an energetic, playful song that features Elmer's piano throughout. Bassist Tanaka and drummer Okudaira add their own personal touches while staying mostly in the background. Tanaka delivers a solo on the elegant "Silhouette." Okudaira plays it light but crisp, working largely with the cymbals at times, delivering rim shots at others. Elmer's lead has the feel of classical piano while maintaining its jazz factor.

Another sizzling track is the cleverly titled "Constant Lee." A highlight of this piece is when Tanaka takes the bow to his bass. Okudaira's solo near the end of "Fire Down Below" is just one of several high points of this song. Again giving it an element of classical piano, or perhaps something more akin to Keystone Cops music, Elmer puts the keys through some blistering paces. Though no other instruments are present, the hotness of this tune at times suggests as if there are more than three musicians involved.

None of the tracks is extremely long, but the title song, at just under five minutes, is the shortest of the set. The trio has many opportunities to stretch out. All 10 songs are Elmer originals. Even when playing a slow- moving ballad, "Lasting Love," or an easygoing Sunday drive song, "Delicate Balance," the energy and vigor displayed by these musicians keeps Fire Down Below smokin' from start to finish.

Track Listing: Sister Joan; Silhouette; Constant Lee; GA's Jambalaya; Fire Down Below; Lasting Love; Delicate Balance; Tanaka's Hideout; Big Chief Red Cloud; Aaronology.

Personnel: Steve Elmer: piano; Shingo Okudaira: drums; Hide Tanaka: bass.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Ambient


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Long After Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Long After Midnight
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" CD/LP/Track Review So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "From Two Balconies" CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!