178

Kenichi Tsunoda Big Band: Savanna

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
Despite the economic difficulties in sustaining a large ensemble, trombonist, composer, and arranger Kenichi Tsunoda has kept his stellar, Tokyo-based big band together for over a decade. Showing off the band’s versatility, Tsunoda presents a program of his own compositions, a combination of the First Movement of “Concierto de Aranjuez” and Chick Corea’s “Spain,” as well as smart arrangements of standards such as “Caravan” and “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” The well-drilled ensemble includes a number of able soloists such as tenor saxophonist Tatsuya Sato, flutist Seiji Tada, alto saxophonist Keiji Hori, and pianist Yuichi Inoue.

From abrupt changes in tempos and dynamics, to interludes of Latin percussion, to brass and reed section choruses without the rhythm section, Tsunoda’s arrangements are full of surprises, all of which make sense. For example, the melody of his lovely ballad, “Cherles River,” is passed between alto, tenor, and trombone, with the full band entering only on the last few bars of the piece. These changes create additional interest without breaking the mood or affecting the overall flow.

On Richard Rogers’ “My Romance,” Tsunoda accomplishes a near perfect melding of ensemble and soloist. Guitarist Yoshiaki Okayasu slowly engages the tune by himself followed by the band—minus rhythm—playing the same melody, sounding as if they are floating in space. Okayasu reappears with piano, bass, and drums, and plays the tune in medium tempo groove with accompaniment by the brass and reeds. After an extended improvisation, he fades out, the band returns once again slowly and sans rhythm, to play the melody one last time.

Track List:For Takemitsu; Savanna; Waltz For Eriko; Concierto De Aranjuez—Spain; Cherles River; You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To; Caravan; Broadway Jam; Manteca; My Romance.


Personnel: Saxophones, Flutes and Clarinets: Keiji Hori, Seiji Tada (Except on 5,6,9), Hideo Oyama (on 5,6,9), Yuji Kawamura; Tatsuya Sato, Dairo Miyamoto (on 2,4,7,8,9,), Takemi Ishikane (on 1,3,5,6,10). Trumpets: Paul Stephens, Mitsukuni Kohata, Shiro Sasaki (except 5), Shuichiro Ise (except 8), Masahiro Makhara (on 4,5,8,9,). Trombones: Yuzo Kataoka, Hideaki, Nakaji, Haruki Sato. Bass Trombone: Kazuto Kitahara. Piano: Yuichi Inoue (on 1,3,5,), Tomohiro Sunada (on 2,4,6,7,8,9,10). Bass: Shinichi Sato (on 2,4,7,8,9,10), Koichi Osamu (On 1,3,5,6). Guitar: Yoshiaki Okayasu (on 8,10). Drums: Ichiro Onoe (on 1,3,5,6,9), Tappy Iwase (on 2,4), Yasuo Tan (on 7,8,10). Percussion: Tatsuji Yokoyama (on 2,4,6,7,9), Gen Date (on 2).

Title: Savanna | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Taking Direction" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Direction
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Regards To You II" CD/LP/Track Review Regards To You II
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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