All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

113

Taeko Kunishima: Late Autumn

Lewis J Whittington By

Sign in to view read count
Taeko Kunishima's Late Autumn starts with a wandering solo entrance that engages the composer/pianist's stream of jazz style. It instantly feels both musically liberated and firmly rooted in multi-era reverence. This prologue, "To the Hebrides," open an otherwise freewheeling narrative by Kunishima and her dazzling lineup.

After the opening track the set ignites with the seven-minute scorcher, "Return To Life." Inside of its retro-progressive ascensions, shakuhachi virtuoso Clive Bell evokes a Japanese classicism which then vanishes, jarring the imagination. Sean Corby's trumpet and flugelhorn slash through like a comet, tempered by Bell's flute, essaying a thrilling, primal statement. The atmospherics are a fine example of Kunishima's style, mixing eras with sublime naturalism while employing dramatic cultural markers. She has a concrete points of musical view and isn't afraid to carve out unexpected territory.

"The Waves" features a swirling percussive drive by way of Bell's flute, which conjures a reflexive, cathartic jazz pool, then shifting as Corby's horn crashes in like a tidal wave. "Kimie" has an afterhours feel, and lifts the harrowing mood with Kunishima's meandering before being sent aloft by Bell's firebird flute and Corby's runaway horn.

A breather comes with the sinewy chamber jazz of "Spring Rain," with Kunishima, Bell and bassist Paul Moylan enchanting and vibrant; "Rain Sketch" is equally compelling, with a darker, more aggressive hard bop feel that seems ponderous, as it retreats to cinematic effects and keyboard artiness. The elegiac "Dusk," featuring Bell's shakuhachi, has its musical roots in antiquity, as Kunishima's strums the piano wires and Moylan essays lush sonorities, next to the bassist's bone-dry bowing, for arresting contrasts. There is a haunting and haunted serenity in the after burns.

"Promise," a filler track, seems a bit out of place, but acts as a breather before the title track, with the plaintively elegant vocal by Rio Roberts. The great interplay of Kunishima's lyricism around her whispering vocals leaves hope that this is a teaser for a full session next time around.

Late Autumn doesn't have a studio feel, and is a well-mixed session engineered by Matthew Collis and produced by Bell, recorded at 33 Jazz Studio in May 2011. Kunishima doesn't take a larger chunk of the musical spotlight with her band—even though, as this CD repeatedly indicates, she has a lot to say. The effects of the dual streams display the composer's intoxicating moods and unexpected atmospherics.

Track Listing: To The Hebrides; Return To Life; The Waves; Kimie; Spring Rain; Rain Sketch; Dusk; Promise; Late Autumn.

Personnel: Taeko Kunishima: piano; Clive Bell: shakuhachi, flute; Sean Corby: trumpet, flugelhorn; Paul Moylan: double bass; Maxwell Hallett: drums; David Ross: cajon, percussion; Rio Roberts: vocals (9).

Title: Late Autumn | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: 33 Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Return to Life

Return to Life

Taeko Kunishima
Late Autumn

Cold Winter

Cold Winter

Taeko Kunishima
Red Dragonfly

Itsuki no Komoriuta

Itsuki no Komoriuta

Taeko Kunishima
Space to Be...

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

Related Articles

Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Leon" CD/LP/Track Review Leon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "SuperClusters" CD/LP/Track Review SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Lala Belu" CD/LP/Track Review Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Eclipse" CD/LP/Track Review Eclipse
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 10, 2018
Read "Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Masonic Lawn" CD/LP/Track Review Masonic Lawn
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2017