Posts Tagged ‘Yuko Kishimoto’

Jazz-2K: CD Picks of the Week

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

If the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival and Lake George’s Jazz at the Lake got you fired up last month (and even if they didn’t), here are a few discs to stoke that fire:

DAVID GIBSON
“End of the Tunnel”
(Posi-Tone)

David Gibson: End of the Tunnel

One of the downsides of Posi-Tone being the biggest purveyor of trad jazz today is that most of their releases are so earnest, they make your teeth hurt. There are exceptions, though: The wild free-jazz collective Tarbaby, Orrin Evans’ monumental Captain Black Big Band and this tasty re-imagining of Hammond B3-flavored party jazz. David Gibson is one of those trombone players who refuses to let the trumpet players have all the fun, so he brought together a tight little unit and had some fun of his own. The group sets a grinning tone early with Herbie Hancock’s laughing “Blind Man, Blind Man,” and all the originals that follow take their cue from that sound. Gibson’s “Sunday Morning” and keyboardist Jared Gold’s “Preachin'” have that perfect mix of blues and gospel that made Jimmy Smith records so special, “Wasabi” brings the funk in easy take-home portions, and the urgent title track has the same adrenaline rush you get from driving through the Holland Tunnel at 3am with no brakes and no traffic. Gold’s own efforts as a leader have been nothing to write home about, but put him in a sideman situation where all he has to do is bring it, and he brings the B3 into the 21st century. Throw in brutal alto sax from Julius Tolentino and Quincy Davis’ rampant drums, and there’s a happening at “End of the Tunnel.”

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LIVE: Yuko Kishimoto @ First Reformed Church of Schenectady, 8/31/11

Friday, September 2nd, 2011
Yuko Kishimoto

Yuko Kishimoto

The release party for Yuko Kishimoto’s debut disc “Songbook” allowed people to do two very important things – come together, and say goodbye. The coming together was natural, given that people who weren’t directly effected by Hurricane Irene still came away shaken, either by near misses from this storm or childhood experiences from previous storms. Stories about fallen trees hitting houses and missing spacevans were being swapped right up until showtime. The farewell added a slightly sour taste to what should have been a triumphant evening: Kishimoto’s visa was to expire two days after this show, forcing the talented pianist/composer to return to her native Japan.

But then, who needs musicians, right? After all, they’re not “job-creators!”

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In the Studio With Yuko Kishimoto, Part II

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Connor Meehan, Lee Russo, John Menegon and Yuko-Kishimoto

Connor Meehan, Lee Russo, John Menegon and Yuko Kishimoto

This is the second half of Andrzej Pilarczyk’s studio visit with pianist Yuko Kishimoto as she recorded her debut album, “Songbook,” at Cotton Hill Studios in Albany last month. Read Part I here.

As the afternoon moves forward Japanese native and long time Nippertown resident Yuko Kishimoto seems more at ease with her piano playing and the recording process in the studio. But, as she mentions to producer Keith Pray and engineer Ace Parkhurst after a playback of a take, “The composition sounds a little different than what I intended when I wrote it.” More to herself than to anyone in particular, Kishimoto adds, “I keep thinking I should have changed something in there now that I hear it performed. I heard it in my mind a little bit differently…”

Pray knows this second-guessing well. All musicians, artists, writers and creative people go through that process when they’re putting their work together for public display. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a CD recording, an art exhibition or a book. Doubt plagues almost every creative spirit when they’re on the road to completing a project for public consumption.

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In the Studio With Yuko Kishimoto, Part I

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Connor Meehan, Lee Russo, John Menegon and Yuko-Kishimoto

Connor Meehan, Lee Russo, John Menegon and Yuko Kishimoto

It’s noon, and the hot July sun outside has the humidity on the rise. Inside the air-conditioned Cotton Hill Studios, pianist-arranger-composer Yuko Kishimoto is looking over the score of “All That’s Nice” with Keith Pray.

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Be Here Now: Yuko Kishimoto Trio @ the Athens Cultural Center, 12/4/10

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Yuko Kishimoto

One of the most talented composer-pianists on the Nippertown jazz scene, Yuko Kishimoto has already had her tunes recorded by the Michael Benedict Jazz Vibes and Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble.

On Saturday night at the Athens Cultural Center, Kishimoto will perform an evening of her compositions, accompanied by saxophonist Leo Russo and bassist Mike Lawrence.

Kishimoto recently took a moment to chat with Nippertown.com about the influences of her classical training and how that affects her jazz compositions:

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Interview: Yuko Kishimoto, Jazz Composer-Pianist

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Yuko Kishimoto

Jazz composer and pianist Yuko Kishimoto doesn’t see herself as someone out of the ordinary. She equates her first name as the equivalent of, say, a run-of-the-mill “Jenny,” in Japanese. However, this transplant from Hiroshima, Japan, is way more unique than her first name might imply.

She is a gifted composer whose work has been recognized and applauded by the regional jazz community. For example, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble utilized a pair of her compositions on their recent debut album “Live at the Lark Tavern,” and veteran vibraphonist Michael Benedict recorded two more selections from her deep songbag on his latest release, “New Phase.” This weekend, she’ll be performing at Proctors’ Robb Alley in Schenectady on Friday and at Justin’s in Albany on Saturday.

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