All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Diane Hubka: I Like It Here: Diane Hubka Live in Tokyo

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Diane Hubka has made a reputation for being a straight-ahead, no-nonsense jazz singer and guitarist. Her previous recordings—Goes to the Movies (2008, 18th & Vine), You Inspire Me (2002, VSOJAZ), Look No Further (2000, Naxos)—all reveal a keen jazz talent with a conservative singing approach and swinging guitar sensibility.

Hubka solidifies her hold on mainstream jazz vocals with an excellent live set recorded in Tokyo, December 5, 2007. Hubka is supported by the superb trio of pianist Kiyoshi Morita, bassist Masahiko Taniguchi, and drummer Nobuhiko Yamashita in a bare-bones set of standards, heavy on the Jobim.

Hubka's vocal style is characterized by a perfect midrange that fully stabilizes all registers of her voice. She eschews fancy fireworks in favor of faithful readings of the American Songbook. The value of such a singer is the listener is treated to the closest thing to what the composer intended. Opening with Alec Wilder's "I Like it Here." Hubka immediately reveals her mercuric simpatico with bassist Taniguchi. The two push and prod the other, Hubka ahead of the beat and Taniguchi behind it.

The engineering is such that the secondary resonance of the low notes are audible when Taniguchi is playing on ballads, giving his support a very broad sonic broom with which to push the compositions. The same is heard on a darkly rich "Angel Eye" and "You Go To My Head." Hubka shows what an odd harmonic duck "Moonlight in Vermont" is, singing it beautifully.

Pianist Kiyoshi Morit proves an everyman musician, capably providing Hubka the necessary framework onto which she hangs her melodies. Hubka does not find Tokyo without her guitar, which she breaks out for four of the twelve selections, most notably the Jobim compositions "Agua de Beber" and "Dindi." Hubka makes her way to into a select group of jazz vocalists/instrumentalists, where she rightly assumes a place of honor. I Like it Here is a first among equals...her finest disc.

Track Listing: I Like It Here; Agua de Beber; Angel Eyes; Faces; Get Out of Town; It's Always 4 AM; Some of My Best Friends Are The Blues; You Go To My Head; Dindi; Moonlight In Vermont; All My Tomorrows; One Note Samba.

Personnel: Diane Hubka: vocals, guitar (2, 4, 6, 10); Kiyoshi Morita: piano; Masahiko Taniguchi: bass; Nobuhiko Yamashita: drums.

Title: I Like It Here: Diane Hubka Live in Tokyo | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: SSJ Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

The Look of Love

The Look of Love

Diane Hubka
Diane Hubka Goes to the Movies

Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Diane Hubka: West Coast Strings

Diane Hubka: West...

Self Produced

West Coast Strings

West Coast Strings

Self Produced

You Inspire Me

You Inspire Me

VSOJAZ Records


Related Articles

Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Carpe Diem CD/LP/Track Review
Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Exotica CD/LP/Track Review
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Oriental Orbit CD/LP/Track Review
Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Brightbird CD/LP/Track Review
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "I Know Who I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Duality: Particles & Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Duality: Particles & Waves
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Embodied Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Embodied Hope
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "Last Things Last" CD/LP/Track Review Last Things Last
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "Masters In Bordeaux" CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2017