4

Ayako Shirasaki: Some Other Time

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Ayako Shirasaki: Some Other Time Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the creator also has a hell of a lot to do with it when it comes to the arts. Every musical performance leaves certain items open for debate for and from those on the receiving end, but some things remain irrefutable because of those on the giving side. In the case of pianist Ayako Shirasaki, the undeniable truth(s) surround her dexterous handiwork on the 88s, melodic clarity, and arranging ingenuity, all of which were evident on her stunner of a solo piano disc— Falling Leaves: Live In Hamburg (Jan Matthies Music, 2010).

With Some Other Time, Shirasaki returns to the piano trio format, an oh-so-familiar configuration that she used on her first two albums— Existence (What's New, 2003) and Musically Yours (What's New, 2005). That initially comes off as a bit of a let down, given the spectacular heights she reached as a solo act on Falling Leaves: Live In Hamburg, but it turns out to be a blessing; she may be an uber-talented solo pianist, but she also has a hell of a lot to offer in the trio realm and she makes that clear here for those that may have missed those early albums.

Shirasaki tackles reworked classics, originals and a couple of Japanese tunes on Some Other Time, but all of the material is arranged and delivered in such a fashion that it appears to be cut from the same cloth, despite obvious stylistic differences. Two originals—the album-opening, Brazilian inflected "Sunrise" and "3 Steps Forward," which hints at Bud Powell with a dash of Thelonious Monk and Jacky Terrasson—lead to "Yosuka," a Japanese country music song that has hard bop connections, and the title track, a gentle number that warms the soul. After those initial offerings, the surprises arrive with a brilliant reworking of "Oleo" and an "April In Paris" that's far far away from Count Basie's lauded version.

The second half of the album has just as many thrills, with a solo piano take on "Sophisticated Lady," a hip version of a Japanese folk song—"Antagata Dokosa"—and a charming take on Swedish pianist Lars Jansson's "Hope" topping the list. There's a lot to love here, from the easy three-way rapport between the woman in charge and her trio mates—bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Quincy Davis—to the balance between the known and the unknown. Some Other Time succeeds on all fronts and will, hopefully, bring more attention to the work of Ayako Shirasaki, an artist who puts it all out there when she plays.

Track Listing: Sunrise; 3 Steps Forward; Yosaku; Some Other Time; Oleo; April In Paris; My Man’s Gone; Long Ago and Far Away; Sophisticated Lady; Antagata Dokosa; Peace of Mind; Hope

Personnel: Ayako Shirasaki: piano; Noriko Ueda: bass; Quincy Davis: drums

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Jan Matthies Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Right to Love" CD/LP/Track Review Right to Love
by Jim Olin
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Green With Envy" CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!