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

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "The Hive" CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Flesh & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Ultimate Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Ultimate Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Gold
by Jim Olin
Published: January 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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