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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio

Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

On his seventh release as a leader, New York-based fret-wizard Nobuki Takamen relies on his fellow trio mates, bassist Toshiyuki Tanahashi and drummer Naoki Akiwa, to present a set of exclusively original material. On The Nobuki Takamen Trio, he not only substantiates his reputation as a natural-born bop guitarist, but also proves he is a gifted composer with a highly versatile repertoire. Opening the album at its most sober, “The Circle Game" finds the trio swirling around its ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio

Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Nobuki Takamen is, in all probability, the best jazz guitarist Japan has ever produced. Nowadays he lives in New Jersey but tours his homeland regularly. His playing is marked by good taste and sensitivity. He is a highly inventive guitarist, his runs and progressions never quite going where you expect them to go but always making perfect sense. He doesn't overburden his playing with technique, staying accessible to a wide range of listeners. He names his influences ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio

Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Guitarist/composer Nobuki Takamen is active on the New York scene, but has returned to his native Japan for an annual tour for many years. His previous album Live In Japan (Self Produced, 2016) documented live performances of his trio with bassist Toshiyuki Tanahashi and drummer Naoki Aikawa, long-time musical collaborators for more than a decade. The process was reversed for this album: first the trio went on tour, playing almost every night for over a month, then they ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: Live in Japan

Read "Live in Japan" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

When last heard from, guitarist/composer Nobuki Takamen had released his first solo album, Solo Guitar (2014). He is active on the New York scene, but has returned to his native Japan for an annual tour for many years. For his sixth album he has chosen to document live performances of his trio with bassist Toshiyuki Tanahashi and drummer Naoki Aikawa, long-time musical collaborators for more than a decade. Takamen is definitely a bebop-oriented player. Although this is an ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: Solo Guitar

Read "Solo Guitar" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Jazz guitarist Nobuki Takamen plays like someone with nothing to prove as he takes on that most difficult challenge: a truly solo jazz recording, with no overdubbing or electronics. His playing throughout is confident and mature, with no extraneous display. Which is not to say that his technique is lacking: the opener “Someday" effortlessly goes from polyphonic lines to cascading harp harmonics (the technique originated by the late Lenny Breau, frequently associated with players like Chet Atkins and Larry Coryell). ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: Live at the Iridium

Read "Live at the Iridium" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Born in Hiroshima, Japan, guitarist Nobuki Takamen resides in New York City where he remains active in the local jazz scene amid gigs at major out-of-state festivals. Recorded at New York City's Iridium jazz venue, the guitarist steers his quartet through a progression of lyrically resplendent bop and swing works, complemented by interweaving plots and brief nods to non-jazz genres. Takamen's medium-toned lines, via his semi-hollow body guitar, parallel what is often heard in standard jazz guitar quartets. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nobuki Takamen: From Now On

Read "From Now On" reviewed by Dave Major

Breaking into the jazz scene as a guitarist is a tough move, with the icons of old standing reverently on high shelves, and the next big thing always out there somewhere awaiting discovery. While debut albums can impress and amaze, it's the follow-ups which cause genuine excitement. From Now On, the second release by Japanese guitarist Nobuki Takamen certainly does that.While Takamen has prodigious technique at his disposal to spare, From Now On never forces it in your ...


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