155

Sumi Tonooka Trio: Long Ago Today

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Sumi Tonooka Trio: Long Ago Today Circumstance is not always kind, decreeing course and matter. In the case of pianist Sumi Tonooka, circumstance dictated that she wait for ten years before she had the opportunity to record as a leader. The last time she did so was in 1999 on Secret Places, released on Kenny Barron's label, Joken Records.

Tonooka plays with a strong commitment to melody and improvisation. She gets into the nectar of a tune and then draws out all of its delights. Her path to invention is filled with nuance and surprise, encompassed in an abiding musicality.

Tonooka has bassist Rufus Reid, who has played with her for over 25 years, and Bob Braye on drums. They are in empathy with her thought and moves, and together shape an album that is as delightful as it is heart warming.

The chemistry between the three is manifested from the opening pirouette of "Be the Dance," which is in 6/8 time. Tonooka sparks the melody and then propels it on, letting the intensity gain a gentle edge. She shows a compact sense of ideas, changing the pulse and the tempo with her phrasing. Reid and Braye heat the rhythm bed, constantly spurring Tonooka, and help turn the tune into an attention-grabber.

"Renewal" works on several levels. It has a gospel undertone but is constructed as a ballad. Tonooka deliberates over the melody, letting it seep in. She then opens it with loquacious notes, her runs stamping a quick emphasis. In the process the music gains a whole new, reverberating dimension. Braye adds splashes of color with his agile rhythm, while Reid is the bastion that keeps the beat in the groove.

"Moroccan Daze" is a bright, snappy tune that jumps from the lower register of the piano. Tonooka once again shows her considerable technique as she brings in block chords to complement her innovations. With the trio drinking deeply from the Moroccan rhythm, the tune captivates with its vibrant energy.

Tonooka's music is beautifully conceived and enthralling; a constant joy that will hopefully be followed up more often.


Track Listing: Be the Dance; All of You; The Clinging; Dreaming of Tibet; Quantum Question; Long Ago Today; Renewal; Moroccan Daze; Just For Now; Nami�s Song.

Personnel: Sumi Tonooka: piano; Rufus Reid: bass; Bob Braye: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ARC - Artists Recording Collective | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Up Go We" CD/LP/Track Review Up Go We
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "District 6" CD/LP/Track Review District 6
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Wheel of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Wheel of Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Punch" CD/LP/Track Review Punch
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!