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.

Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: 33 Jazz | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Live in 1967 Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Live in 1967 Volume Two
by Doug Collette
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Counteraction" CD/LP/Track Review Counteraction
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Earth Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Earth Tones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review High Noon
by Anthony Shaw
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.