218

The Multiple Musical Personalities of Eri Yamamoto

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count








Eri Yamamoto
In Each Day, Something Good
AUM Fidelity
2010


Eri Yamamoto, Whit Dickey, Daniel Carter
Emergence
Not Two
2009




Known locally for her decade-long residency at Arthur's Tavern in the West Village, Osaka-born, Kyoto-bred and New York-seasoned pianist Eri Yamamoto has become increasingly visible on the Eastside avant jazz scene. Two new releases document both sides of her musical personality.

In Each Day, Something Good, her sixth trio album, recorded with longtime working rhythm section bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi, is a mixture of original songs and a suite of pieces written to accompany Yasujiro Ozu's early silent film I Was Born, But.... Yamamoto's playing, unhurried and unforced, nevertheless demonstrates an active imagination and gift for melody; her improvisations avoid sweeping theatrical gestures in favor of focused introspection, in the spirit of someone who stops along the way to pore over the small details of everyday life that often elude those who hurry on. Displaying an intuitive rapport based on umpteen hours of on-the-job repartee, the trio recalls the close commerce and intimate atmosphere of Bill Evans' classic group, the musical equivalent of an isosceles triangle. Yamamoto's writing favors loping 5/4 'waltzes,' gospel-tinged harmonies and short, miniaturist themes. "A Little Escape" sounds like a folksy variant of Monk's "Misterioso"; "Blue in Tunisia" meditates on subtle shadings of C Major/minor while "I Was Born" is unabashed bop, featuring a fine piano solo in which Yamamoto's phrases seemly float over both beat and barlines.

Emergence is a collective outing with multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter and drummer Whit Dickey, both stalwarts of the freer fringes. Lacking a bassist, Yamamoto digs in with her left hand, filling out the low frequencies with rumbling lines, topped by high, chiming arpeggios. In this looser context, she flirts with tonality, moving harmonies up and down without quite reaching a cadence, ambiguous gestures that beg a response. Trading most of his time between trumpet and tenor, Carter is fairly restrained, leaving ample space, adding comments here and there, saving his most audacious blowing for "Last Taste" when, supported by a spiraling piano figure, his alto builds to a ferocious climax. Dickey strikes a balance between density and space, spreading hits across the kit, digging into faux hiphop grooves on "Get Up" and "Rocker" while merely implying the pulse on "Convection." A fine effort, the date exemplifies the art of collective on-the-spot decision making.


Tracks & Personnel

In Each Day, Something Good

Tracks: Attraction of the Moon; Secret Link; Every Day; We'll Figure Out Blues; Blue in Tunisia; I Was Born; A Little Suspicious; Let's Eat, Then Everything Will Be OK; A Little Escape; Sheep Song.

Personnel: Eri Yamamoto: piano; David Ambrosio: bass; Ikuo Takeuchi: drums.

Emergence

Tracks: Conversation; Get Up; Mobile; Convection; Rocker; Twirls; Last Taste; Plum Blossom.

Personnel: Eri Yamamoto: piano; Daniel Carter: reeds, trumpet, flute; Whit Dickey: drums.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Guitars on Three Continents" Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas Blues Band / The King Brothers" Multiple Reviews Blues Spotlight: Robert Finley / Donald Jay Johnson And Gas...
by James Nadal
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago" Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out" Multiple Reviews Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 28, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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