Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio

2

Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio

By

Sign in to view read count
Nobuki Takamen: The Nobuki Takamen Trio
On his seventh release as a leader, New York-based fret-wizard Nobuki Takamen relies on his fellow trio mates, bassist Toshiyuki Tanahashi and drummer Naoki Akiwa, to present a set of exclusively original material. On The Nobuki Takamen Trio, he not only substantiates his reputation as a natural-born bop guitarist, but also proves he is a gifted composer with a highly versatile repertoire.

Opening the album at its most sober, "The Circle Game" finds the trio swirling around its downward spiral of fifths in a most uncompromising fashion. At its core, the composition is vested with a catchy motif, repeated once in its tonic, before transposed and repeated on the IV. Green and Montgomery are obvious references that come to mind, especially when Takamen departs on a run of scales and switches into octave-mode.

But there is more to Nobuki Takamen's playing than imitations of others' past accomplishments. Apart from his unique phraseology, and a self-evidence for a wide harmonic landscape—on display in his solos—he furthermore draws from a multitude of different genres and melts them into something distinctively his own.

The Latin rhythm workout, "A-Tico-Ta" (the sole feature for percussionist Akihito Yoshikawa), or the folk-infused "3AM," are representative of this diversity and keep the album interesting throughout. While the aesthetic choice of creating a dry-sounding room works very well for the more bop-oriented tunes, others tend to suffer from a lack of spatial and dynamic detail and would have benefited from a slightly more modern approach with a sprinkle of delay here and there.

However, what some songs on The Nobuki Zakamen Trio lack in production and mixing values, they make up for in memorability and their subtle yet intricate execution. If the nostalgia of "Wonderful Days" fails to convince, then the slow dancing "Piece for Peace," at the latest, certainly will.

Track Listing

The Circle Game; Helsingin Taivas (Helsinki Sky); 3AM; Fox’s Tail; Wonderful Days; A-Tico-Ta ; Blues Alberta; Sjećanja za Pamćenje (Memories to Remember); 25; Piece for Peace.

Personnel

Nobuki Takamen: guitar; Toshiyuki Tanahashi: bass; Naoki Aikawa: drums; Akihito Yoshikawa: percussion (6).

Album information

Title: The Nobuki Takamen Trio | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

É Pra Jazz
Henrique Mota Trio
The Other Side
Peter DiCarlo
Being Human
Lynne Arriale
Being
Chris Rottmayer

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.