309

Yutaka Uchida: Living Together

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Yutaka Uchida: Living Together You don't need to be a music scholar to discern that drummer/composer Yutaka Uchida has immersed himself within a broad spectrum of jazz-related styles. After honing his practicing and educational musical persona in his native Japan, Uchida sojourned to New York City and became active in various jazz-related performances and disparate projects. As a composer, the artist has received grants. And here, the drummer creates a masterwork based on an acoustic-electric fabric of sound. While Living Together won't be considered a masterpiece of epic proportions, it is easily one of the top outings of the year.

Its impeccably rounded-out program highlights Uchida's strong compositional pen, and is designed with memorably melodic content. He triumphantly bridges that rather opaque perimeter that is framed upon hard-hitting jazz fusion, swing and radio-friendly contemporary jazz. An ace drummer who occasionally breaks out with sweeping polyrhythmic fills, the respective pieces span a gamut of emotive and thematic frameworks.

The opener, "Mother Sea, is constructed upon a simple yet entrancing Edgar Varese type theme, spiked up with Ben Sher's ethereal jazz guitar phrasings and James Cammack's monster bass lines. Each comp stands on its own, however. Uchida's arrangements feature peppy shuffle grooves, gradually ascending wing vamps and tuneful hooks. It's largely about the ensemble's acute placement of dynamics and warmly-crafted passages.

On "Dryads, the band executes a tender ballad that is notched up with Sher's distortion-heavy guitar voicings and toned back down by Eishin Nose's subliminally rendered synth swashes and keys. But variety plays an important role, as the drummer steers the group through fluid, Latin jazz motifs amid some blustery sax soloing by Sean Nowell. And they rock out via a commanding jazz fusion gait on the straight-head and hyper-mode "Torrent of Lava.

At the end of the day, we can only hope that Uchida pursues an active recording career. This is a standout effort that communicates the total package, and it would be a crime for this sparkling gem to go unnoticed. There's a lot for everyone here, whether they require a smooth transition or break-in period to become acclimated to the world of jazz, or are seasoned aficionados who cherish impressive chops coupled with a sense of endearment through an elevated example of compositional form.


Track Listing: Mother Sea; Beyond the Horizon; Cheers; Dryads; Dance While You're Still Here; Truly Untrue; Peaceful Eyes; Torrent of Lava; My Old Faithful; Living Together.

Personnel: Ben Sher: guitars (1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8); Eishin Nose: keyboards, piano (5); James Cammack: electric bass; Yutaka Uchida: drums; Sean Nowell: tenor and soprano sax (2, 6, 9, 10); George Dulin: piano; Danny Zanker: acoustic bass.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979" CD/LP/Track Review No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979
by John Sharpe
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Alien Flower Sutra" CD/LP/Track Review Alien Flower Sutra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!