All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Uou: Home

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
The long and interesting road for five students—from Japan to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and then to New York's exhilarating jazz scene—arrives at their splendid group recording, aptly titled Home. The band, named UoU, consists of members who have garnered numerous individual recognitions and awards, and studied/performed with a who's who's list of today's jazz leaders. Yet, as collective, this debut exudes a polished distinctiveness, clear abilities and original compositions.

It would be easy to dismiss UoU as just another American-influenced expat jazz band, but as the music unfolds it becomes clear that there is much more at work. The group's synergy is unveiled through immersible compositions—soulfulness along with technical viability; varied musical elements; memorable individual solos; and a panoptic band aesthetic that is cohesive and engaging.

Equally telling as composers, each member contributes material that accentuates the group as well as their own abilities. A fine guitarist, Daisuke Abe's "Hanauta" has a modern Americana aura, mixed with heady swing and colorful splashes of bass clarinet by Takuji Yamada. Modal shades of blue are imparted in "No Mind," written by Yoshifumi Nihonmatsu, a drummer with exquisite traps; but here, the spotlight is given to Yoko Komori's superb piano solo. Komori in turn, offers the charismatic "Queen's Dance," a tune whose melody could easily find a home on Broadway.

More West than East, the inclusion of Japanese-inspired melodies is intricately woven into the music, in contrast to the Asian American sound of contemporary jazz group Hiroshima. Gems like the lovely "As I Recall" and Abe's compelling "Ofro Song," which includes an enticing folk-song and interconnected patterns, are worthy of repeated spins. The group's musicality is cemented in "Rock-A-Bye," a rousing track that stealthily transitions from relaxation to foot stomping blues. UoU's arrival is a rewarding one, which will hopefully reach more listeners with its impressive music.

Track Listing: Hanauta; No Mind; Queens Dance; Cat's Play; Home; Moldiana; As I Recall; Ofro Song; Shoka; Rock-a-Bye.

Personnel: Takuji Yamada: saxophones, bass clarinet; Daisuke Abe: guitar; Yoko Komori: piano; Kuriko Tsugawa: bass; Yoshifumi Nihonmatsu: drums.

Title: Home | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Tippin' Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Home by Mark F. Turner
Read more articles
Take the 7 Train

Take the 7 Train

Tippin' Records



Tippin' Records


Related Articles

Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Poetry of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review
The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Unknowable CD/LP/Track Review
The Unknowable
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Like A Radio CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Roberto Magris Sextet Live In Miami @ The WDNA Jazz Gallery" CD/LP/Track Review Roberto Magris Sextet Live In Miami @ The WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Imaga Mondo" CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Roadmaps" CD/LP/Track Review Roadmaps
by Paul Naser
Published: March 14, 2018