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

Eri Yamamoto, Whit Dickey, Daniel Carter
Not Two

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.


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

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


More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics" Multiple Reviews Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics
by John Eyles
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Five New From Konvoj Records" Multiple Reviews Five New From Konvoj Records
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Montreux Through The Decades: Jazz Recordings, Part One" Multiple Reviews Montreux Through The Decades: Jazz Recordings, Part One
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 27, 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!

Buy it!