10

Taeko Kunishima: Iridescent Clouds

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Taeko Kunishima: Iridescent Clouds There is an atmospheric element which Japanese musicians inherently weave throughout their compositions, giving their music a singular dimension which is readily identifiable. Acknowledged for her trademark lyricism, pianist Taeko Kunishima reflects upon the wonders of nature on Iridescent Clouds, offering elegant improvised passages encased in a meditative concept.

Accompanied again by Clive Bell, recognized master of the shakuhachi flute, and secured by the steady bass of Paul Moylan, the ensemble is augmented by percussionist Camilo Tirado. Additional exotic gradations are presented by Hibiki Ichikawa on the traditional three stringed Tsugaru shamisen. The utilization of field recordings by Jeremy Hawkins serves as a backdrop, the record flowing along its conceptual course.

The trickling of water opens "Blue Clouds," creating the sensation of a peaceful sojourn along a stream, lost in rapture. The piece has its moments of thoughtful flotation, as piano and flute drift towards the clouds. There is the distant chatter of passing people in the buoyant "In Search Of Time Lost," Kunishima carefully spacing her piano voicings to depict pensive hesitation while lost in a crowd.

Bell shines on "Iridescent Seashell," conjuring up the native uguisu bird. This Japanese Bush Warbler's recorded chirping interacts with the piano, a fascinating representation on the wonders of nature set to music. "Secrets," features Kunishima on solo piano, her instinctive classical inclinations taking over this tender composition. The bass sets the course in "Lighthouse In Winter," while Bell sends his flute out as a beacon, over the sea, into the mysterious night, waves gently splashing below.

"Oak Tree Leaf Rustles In My Mind," has shades of an Indian raga, set up by the cadenced tablas of Tirado, and bass bowing of Moylan. The suspension returns with "Everything Is In The Air," melodic passages drifting past the bamboo; Bell switching to the khene (Thai mouth organ) for a gypsy meets Zen moment of enlightenment. They close with "Volcanic Rocks," an Eastern melody played in western time, highlighted with high flying flute inflections and bursts, the journey ends on a rocky cliff, overlooking the valley below.

Taeko Kunishima was raised on Beethoven and Mozart, discovering jazz, she experimented with surrealistic improvisational options available in jazz harmony over her last three releases as leader. This fourth record proceeds along the same transcendent course she follows in her intellectual compositions and arrangements, maintaining her Japanese heritage of spiritual quest. While many artists attempt to seek personal redemption through music, by her particular mellow and evocative manner, Kunishima is already there.

Track Listing: Blue Clouds; In Search Of Time Lost; Iridescent Seashell; Secret; Lighthouse In Winter; Oak Tree Rustles In My Mind; Everything Is In The Air; Volcanic Rocks.

Personnel: Taeko Kunishima: piano, composer; CliveBell: shakuhachi, khene, Cretan pipes; Paul Moylan: double bass; Camilo Tirado: tablas, persussion; Hibiki Ichikawa: Tsugaru shamisen; Jeremy Hawkins: field recordings of uguisu, Japanese voices, rustling oaks.

Title: Iridescent Clouds | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: 33 Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Zea" CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "The Duke Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Duke Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.