Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Eri Yamamoto Trio - Life (AUM Fidelity, 2016)

Pianist and composer Eri Yamamoto has developed a strong following among jazz fans and critics with a series of interesting releases and a residency she has held together for the past seventeen years at Arthur's Tavern, one of the longest running jazz clubs in New York City. This has given her ample opportunity develop her original material which she unleashes on this album that was recorded live at the Systems Two Studios in Brooklyn in June of 2015. The music on the album is presented in the form of two virtual sets, much like the trio's live performance format. As the album title suggests, the material moves through a far range of emotional evocation, from ebullient to thoughtfully introspective, reflecting the absolute vibrancy of her long-time adopted home, New York City, and the importance of finding space within the perpetual motion of the city for moments of reflection and meditation. The music works quite well throughout the album, with excellent interplay between the musicians who make the most of the material and the experience that they have built up while playing together for so much time. On this album she is joined by bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi whom have worked with her for a long time and fully support her musical statements. The music the three make is very thoughtful and patient, and you can tell by listening that they spent a lot of time honing their material. The opening track “I Love” is quite fascinating with cascades of piano notes, and taut and understated bass and drums, and is juxtaposed by some of the lighter and airier material. "New York Time" and "Ground" have a good natured swing and while there is a touch of melancholia to the music at times, on tracks like "Remembrance," the music is emotional resonant throughout, emotionally reminding the listener about the possibilities of the piano trio. Life -

Send comments to Tim.