Rina: RINA

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Rina: RINA
Japanese pianist RINA's eponymous debut is intelligent, graceful and passionate, and showcases the young artist's multiple talents. A protegee of renowned pianist Makoto Ozone, who also produced the release, Rina received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music as well as other accolades, including third place in the 2018 edition of the international 7 Virtual Jazz Club's Contest. On Rina she also proves to be an exciting composer, as she penned all nine of its tracks.

The recording opens and closes with unaccompanied piano pieces. The luminous "Tale of Small Wishes" is multilayered and has a tense and mystical ambience. Within it, Rina's keys cascade with dynamic spontaneity and subtle romanticism. The tender, lullaby-like, nocturne "Hope" concludes the album. On it Rina builds a haunting mood which is simultaneously intimate and expansive and peppered with western classical influences.

In between these two contemplative musings there is plenty of creative energy that captivates and does not let go. Bassist Yasushi Nakamura opens the tango-esque "Foxglove" with his agile reverberating strings. The ensemble's whirlwind exchanges mimic an effervescent and sensual dance as Rina colorfully embellishes the melody and pushes it in a delightfully unpredictable direction. Drummer Jerome Jennings thrills with his polyrhythmic solo which bounces off his bandmates' sparse hypnotic vamps.

Even on the slower tempo ballads, the performance's momentum does not slack. For instance, the shimmering "Eternal Eyes" is cinematic and bittersweet. Nakamura adds a deep melancholy to the tune with his con-arco lines while Rina's phrases brim with wistful lyricism and reserved ardor. The trio demonstrates intriguing synergy as they mix chiming chords, cymbal splashes and resonant pizzicato notes for a haunting and memorable atmosphere.

Rina is an auspicious start to, what appears to be, a brilliant career. On this charming and vibrant work the pianist successfully balances her technical prowess with sensitive sophistication. Her virtuosity drives the music yet does not dominate it with unnecessary pyrotechnics. The disc both satisfies and whets the appetite of what is yet to come from this superbly gifted artist.

Track Listing

Tale Of Small Wishes; Shadows Of The Mind; Journey; With You Always; Foxglove; Eternal Eyes; J.J's Painting; Run And Rise; Hope.


Rina Yamazaki: piano; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Jerome Jennings: drums.

Album information

Title: RINA | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Yamaha Music Entertainment Holdings

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read Hurricane Mouse
Hurricane Mouse
The Justin Rothberg Group
Read Human
Shai Maestro
Read Latínball í Búðardal
Latínball í Búðardal
Tómas R. Einarsson
Read Bernstein Reimagined
Bernstein Reimagined
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Read Faune
Raphaël Pannier Quartet
Read En Casa Limon
En Casa Limon
David Broza
Read Freedom Fables
Freedom Fables
Nubiyan Twist

All About Jazz needs your support

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.