232

Sumi Tonooka Trio: Long Ago Today

By

Sign in to view read count
Sumi Tonooka Trio: Long Ago Today
The name of Sumi Tonooka conjures two images. First, the name of a fine jazz pianist whose album, Taking Time (Candid, 1990), was retrieved from a cutout bin circa the year of its release. Secondly, around the same time, seeing the pianist perform, chairing a rhythm section that supported the formidable duo of trombonists Steve Turre and Fred Wesley. Talk about cooking sets—this was a ringside table just under the feet of this powerful group, where it was possible to marvel at the agility and lyricism of the pianist.

So, the biggest question is...what happened to this pianist in the interim? Long Ago Today is only her fifth album, recorded in October, 2004. Reading her background is inspiring, in that Tonooka comes from Philadelphia, and has studied with the likes of Kenny Barron, Madame Margaret Chaloff (mother of Serge), French piano master Bernard Peiffer, Mary Lou Williams and Stanley Cowell.

Tonooka's last recording was almost ten years ago, with Long Ago Today is a marvel of her fluidity, self-assuredness and lyricism as a player. Although there is only one recognizable tune on the album, Cole Porter's "All of Me," it is easy to imagine how her fingers would wrap around other jazz standards and songs from the American Songbook

The variety of her own compositions displays a sense of keen excitement and melodic balladry. Her accompanists include veteran bassist Rufus Reid, who has appeared on all of her previous albums and has worked with Tonooka over the past 25 years. His empathy on bass is easily identifiable, and he provides a solo on the closing "Nami's Song."

Tonooka's drummer, Bob Braye, sadly passed in February 2007. Here is a percussionist with the credentials of having played with several jazz names, yet he's never previously been heard on record. Hiss sense of timing and dynamics has the sound and feel of a much younger musician and, combined with his two colleagues, makes this a formidable trio.

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: double bass; Bob Braye: drums.

Album information

Title: Long Ago Today | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ARC - Artists Recording Collective

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom
Read Hard Bop
Hard Bop
Eric Binder
Read How Can We Wake?
How Can We Wake?
Josephine Davies
Read Blue Has A Range
Blue Has A Range
Steve Cardenas

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.