166

Mamiko Watanabe: One After Another

By

Sign in to view read count
Mamiko Watanabe: One After Another With the release of One After Another, add Mamiko Watanabe to the list of talented jazz pianists that have come out of Japan in recent years. Watanabe composed all of the songs on this impressive debut and they show a strong, fully developed hard bop sensibility. Watanabe's composing MO is to start off a song with a strong theme or head, as a sort of attention-grabbing mechanism, then to pull it back to where it becomes an exploratory vehicle for the soloists ("The Deep Sea exemplifies this as much as any song on the disc). The tunes are challenging and well-crafted and while Watanabe is a fine pianist, her composing is actually her most compelling aspect.

The Latin-flavored "Shadow begins with an impressive fusillade of percussion by Francisco Mela, who plays over a repeated figure and features highlights and spices from saxophonist Walter Smith. "Savanna opens in a space where pianist McCoy Tyner seemed apt to go, Smith playing deftly across the melody and clever hard bop arrangement. The band performs well on the Monk-inspired "Take It Easy, which has melodic and thematic whisps of Monk, but not, ironically enough, in Watanabe's playing.

"Say Something is another hard bop foray, simple in construction yet eloquent. "Labyrinth, too, has an off-center construction, with the chord progression leading to unexpected corners. "Jour de Pluie a Paris is an ambitious, exploratory waltz ballad on which Massimo Biolcati contributes some especially nice pizzicato and Watanabe explores every possibility the tune has to offer.

Track Listing: Shadow; Savanna; Beat Away; Take It Easy; Say Something; Labyrinth; Jour de Pluie a Paris; The Deep Sea; Paradise.

Personnel: Mamiko Watanabe: piano; Walter Smith: saxophone; Massimo Biolcati: acoustic bass; Francisco Mela: drums.

Title: One After Another | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Floating City" CD/LP/Track Review Floating City
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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