259

Toshiko Akiyoshi: Hiroshima: Rising From The Abyss

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Toshiko Akiyoshi: Hiroshima: Rising From The Abyss
Composer, bandleader and pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi has tucked yet another significant feather into her cap with Hiroshima. Her new CD was recorded live at the composition's debut performance in its namesake city on August 6th, 2001, the 56th anniversary of that fateful 1945 day.

The 15-minute first movement of the emotional three-part suite begins with "Futility," a seasonal blowing of reeds and brass. Swirling leaves touch ground then take flight. Flutes and reeds join the brass horns as the tempo of swinging drums escalates in preparation for soloists and the lurking inevitability. Lew Tabackin, the orchestra's prime soloist who plays soaring Asian-inspired flute, also can blow an energetic and emotional tenor. Letting the wind pick up his suit tail, Tabackin – one of jazz's most underrated soloists – incorporates the blowing theme into his always momentous leads.

Jim Rotondi's thick trumpet solo blisters with concise projection, ending – as with Tabackin – into a forceful tempo of tornado-like notes from the orchestra. Dave Pietro (alto sax) riffs over swinging drum breaks and accompaniment before the beginning of the first movement's second section, "Tragedy." George Kawaguchi's bombarding drum solo precedes the Ornette-like Free Jazz atonal pandemonium of horns, representing the explosive moment “Little Boy” hit.

A reader mysteriously comes from out of the rubble looking skyward. "Survivor Tales" begins with quotes in Japanese taken from "Mother's Diaries" (from the Hiroshima Memorial Museum). Accompanied by traditional Korean flute, each move over a bagpipe-like drone of reeds and winds. It's an eerie scene that eventually features John Eckert's solo – then rumbling piano-accompanied – solemn trumpet plea. Instrumental accounts are passed down by Tabackin (flute), Tom Christensen (tenor), and Scott Whitfield (trombone), each eventually sharing their patiently phrased stories in romantic exchanges, recalling with fondness pre-bomb Hiroshima.

As the orchestral background becomes warmer they intertwine into a tightly knit apex with drums moving from brushes to sticks. The orchestra's final echoing notes bleed into the chiming of a symbolic church bell - the beginning of the final movement, "Hope." Concluding most of Akiyoshi's live sets since 9-11 as either an orchestral feature or piano piece, "Hope" showcases Tabackin (tenor) beautifully bringing home the final movement's intent.

With the end of this year marking the culmination of five years of the orchestra's Monday night residency at Birdland, this month's Carnegie Hall appearance by the Akiyoshi Orchestra will doubly serve as the ensemble's 30th anniversary, as well as a farewell. With the obvious significance, Akiyoshi has decided to present the U.S. debut of her Hiroshima.

Track Listing

1. Long Yellow Road 1:53 2. Hiroshima-Rising from the Abyss: Futility... 12:06 3. Hiroshima-Rising from the Abyss: Futility... 3:26 4. Hiroshima-Rising from the Abyss: Survivor... 6:40 5. Hiroshima-Rising from the Abyss: Survivor... 1:18 6. Hiroshima-Rising from the Abyss: Survivor... 13:14 7. Hiroshima-Rising from the Abyss: Hope 6:41 8. Wishing Peace 7:13

Personnel

Toshiko Akiyoshi - Piano; George Kawaguchi - Drums; Jim Snidero - Flute, Alto Sax; Lew Tabackin - Flute, Tenor Sax; Scott Robinson - Bass Clarinet, Baritone Sax; Scott Whitfield - Trombone, Bass Trombone; Steve Armour - Trombone, Bass Trombone; John Eckert - Trumpet; Dave Pietro - Flute, Alto Sax; Mike Ponella - Trumpet; Jim Rotondi - Trumpet; Valtinho - Percussion; Andy Watson - Drums; Jim O'Connor - Trumpet; Tom Christensen - Flute, Tenor Saxophone; Tim Newman - Bass Trombone Paul Gill - Bass Won Jang-Hyun - Flute

Album information

Title: Hiroshima: Rising From The Abyss | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: True Life Jazz

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Tomato Brain
Tomato Brain
The Golden Age Of Steam
Read The Clawed Stone
The Clawed Stone
John Butcher / Thomas Lehn / Matthew Shipp
Read some kind of peace
some kind of peace
Olafur Arnalds
Read Lost Ships
Lost Ships
Elina Duni / Rob Luft

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.