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Erena Terakubo: New York Attitude

Edward Blanco By

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Erena Terakubo is the next emerging star in a long list of young and gifted musicians hailing from the land of "The Rising Sun" who, may have thankfully, chosen jazz music as a possible career choice. Barely 20 years old and from Sapporo, Japan, this alto saxophonist caught the ear of jazz luminaries like renowned saxophonist Sadao Watanabe and Grammy award-winning bassist Eddie Gomez among others, then later signed with King Records, a major Japanese jazz label, for her first album which, unfortunately, was not released in the United States. Accordingly, and under an exclusive license from Four Quarters Entertainment, King Records presents New York Attitude as Terakubo's American debut.

Young Terakubo makes an impressive entrance in the US jazz market fronting a dynamite quintet that features legendary pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Ron Carter. Her sparkling statements on a pair of originals and a selection of classic tunes like "Body and Soul," "Star Eyes" and "Invitation," and soulful interpretations of the Bobby Timmons piece "This Here," the Sam Jones standard "Del Sasser," as well as Wayne Shorter's "Oriental Folksong," belies her youth and limited experience giving ample testimony of her extraordinary abilities on the instrument.

Coming out swinging on Barron's quick-paced tempo title piece, Terakubo quickly establishes herself with a perky performance on alto serving notice that this is her show, while Barron and drummer Lee Pearson provide splendid back up. The saxophonists' high register sound is on display throughout the recording beginning on Watanabe's "One For You," where incidentally, Barron and Carter lend superb solo statements. Other innovative arrangements include a spicy rendition of the classic "Star Eyes," as well as a new reading of Shorter's "Oriental Folksong" and "Del Sasser"—two compositions that include contributions from trumpeter Dominick Farinacci—and the evergreen standard "Body and Soul."

Teaming up with a group of accomplished players for a performance, will most probably make an average player sound good, here though a talented player is made to sound extraordinary. Japanese-born Erena Terakubo is a gifted musician with burnished skills on the saxophone who—surrounded by this group of jazz masters—presents a sharp and vibrant musical experience that is a pleasure to hear. Serving as the perfect introduction to an American audience, New York Attitude captures an exciting new artist delivering the best of straight ahead jazz like a seasoned veteran.

Track Listing: New York Attitude; One For You; Star Eyes; Oriental Folksong; That's The Truth; Invitation; This Here; Fascination; Del Sasser; Body And Soul.

Personnel: Erena Terakubo: alto saxophone; Kenny Barron: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Lee Pearson: drums; Dominick Farinacci: trumpet, flugelhorn (4, 7, 9).

Title: New York Attitude | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: King Record Co., Ltd.


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