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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

CD Review: Tomoko Omura - Roots

Tomoko Omura (vln/voice); Will Graefe (gtr); Glenn Zaleski (pno/keys); Noah Garabedian (bs); Colin Stranahan (dms).
(Review by Lance.).
Described as "One of the most important...jazz albums produced by a violinist in recent history" - a description by fellow violinist Christian Howes that sets the bar at a very high level - Roots is an album well worth checking out and whilst I might be tempted to temper that assessment it's certainly one of the more unusual albums comprising, as it does, songs that are Japanese standards which, says Omura, everyone in Japan from child to adult can sing by heart. These include two takes of the Japanese National Anthem composed in 1888 by Hiromori Hayashi.
There is a folksy element about many of the songs and not just Japanese - at times I was reminded of Celtic reels!
Omura is certainly a talented and creative musician and when she adds her voice it brings a winsome appeal to the proceedings. Back in 2005, her sophomore year, she was awarded Berklee's prestigious Roy Haynes Award; an award given to one student for "exceptional improvisational skills". Omura has those in abundance! Her swooping lines and emotive outpourings are contemporary without losing the sense of tradition inherent in both Japanese folk and Western jazz - in other words she can swing! 
Her band mates are no slouches either with Graefe and Zaleski powerful voices in their own right and, along with Garabedian and Stranahan. solid in support of this amazing young lady from Shizuoka.
Official release is on January 30 on the Inner circle Label More details.
Lance.

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