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Tomoko Omura: Branches Vol. 1

Read "Branches Vol. 1" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With Branches Vol. 1, award-winning violinist Tomoro Omura dives deep into exploring textures and melodic invention drawn from Japanese folklore. This effort is a contemporized display which validates Omura's vast instrumental abilities and also channels Japanese folklore as a launch-point for her superior composition skills. The recording is seductive, deeply emotional and meditative, and, simultaneously, elegantly refined. The album offers six tracks, each a fascinating voyage. “Moonlight in Vermont" gets such a re-imagined, polyrhythmic treatment that one ...


Tomoko Omura: Branches Vol. 1

Read "Branches Vol. 1" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

If, as you start to yield willingly to the sumptuous, hypnotic Branches, Vol. 1, you should need to walk away and attend to other home/bunker business, try to keep at least one ear on the music. From any point in any room you might hear a gypsy laugh, a lover cry, a Celtic reel. A marvelous new touch on a centuries old instrument, bringing the ages together, gathering all the ley lines into one bustling hub. A rising ...


Tomoko Omura: Post Bop Gypsies

Read "Post Bop Gypsies" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Think about your favorite jazz violinist. Now think about what style or sub-category of jazz that person would most easily fall into. Was your answer bebop? Probably not, I would venture to guess. It's not that I know your answer. This isn't a magic trick. For all I know it could've been Stéphane Grappelli, Jenny Scheinman, Ray Nance, Zbigniew Seifert, Christian Howes, Jean-Luc Ponty, Sara Caswell, Stuff Smith, or any number of other fine artists from years past or times ...


Tomoko Omura: Roots And Branches

Read "Tomoko Omura: Roots And Branches" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It's been a good year for New York-based, Japanese violinist/composer Tomoko Omura, whose second CD as leader, Roots (Inner Circle Music), has earned high praise from critics and peers alike. The roots of the title refer to Omura's heritage as she reimagines popular Japanese tunes through the prism of jazz. The ten tracks draw inspiration from film themes, folk tunes and even the national anthem--material familiar to and beloved of successive generations of Japanese. Yet Omura's idiom is pure jazz, ...


Tomoko Omura: Roots

Read "Roots" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Chosen as one of 2015's “Rising Stars" in Downbeat magazine's critics poll, violinist Tomoko Omura's Roots is evidence that some of the most alluring music is that which combines disparate locales and cultures. The artistic fusion of songs from her homeland in Japan with verdant progressive jazz is presented by Omura and her top flight group as they produce music that ardently reflects both worlds. Originally from Shizuoka, Japan, the New York violinist revisions pop and folk ...


Tomoko Omura: Roots

Read "Roots" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The roots of the title of violinist Tomoko Omura's second CD as leader refer to traditional and popular melodies familiar to several generations of Japanese. But if the melodies of Omura's childhood have left an indelible stamp on her musical DNA, so too has the past decade spent in America absorbing the roots of jazz. It's been six years since Visions (Self Produced, 2008), Omura's homage to jazz violin greats past and present, but the wait has been worth it; ...


Tomoko Omura: Roots

Read "Roots" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Japanese violinist Tomoko Omura may be ten years into a stay in the United States, but Roots clearly demonstrates that she hasn't forgotten or forsaken her homeland. Omura left Japan and relocated to the United States in 2004, eager and ready to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Shortly after graduating in 2007, she released her debut--Visions (Self Produced, 2008)--which focused on original compositions. She moved once more in 2010, adopting the thriving jazz borough of ...


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