September 2016: Taeko Kunishima’s new album Iridescent Clouds is out now on the 33Jazz label.
Track listing: Blue Clouds/In Search Of Time Lost/Iridescent Seashell/Secret/Lighthouse In Winter/Oak Tree Leaf Rustles In My Mind/Everything Is In The Air/Volcanic Rocks
Total playing time 49.30
Pianist Taeko Kunishima was a long term resident in London, and is now moving between the UK and Japan, performing in both countries. Her trademark lyricism is all over her fourth album release, Iridescent Clouds. Taeko has newly composed eight beautiful pieces, in a mellow, melodic vein with occasional atmospheric twists, as her music shifts elegantly from melody to improvisation and back again. Her core group again features the ethereal, Zen-like tones of the Japanese shakuhachi flute, in the hands of Clive Bell, Europe’s leading exponent of this instrument. The warm sound of Paul Moylan’s double bass underpins every ensemble piece.
Iridescent Clouds welcomes other musicians: the brilliant young percussionist Camilo Tirado plays tablas, cahon and gongs. Hibiki Ichikawa contributes the zinging rhythms of his three-stringed Tsugaru shamisen. The album conveys the listener to surprising locations thanks to Jeremy Hawkins’s subtle use of field recordings. The track “Iridescent Seashell” promises a stunning duet between piano and the uguisu bird (Japanese Bush Warbler). Additional splashes of colour come from Bell’s khene (Thai mouth organ) and Cretan double pipes.
Iridescent Clouds is available at Rays Jazz, 3rd floor at Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB.
Live performance video of Iridescent Seashell from the album performed at the Aberjazz Festival 2016 to be added soon.
Live performance video of the last album 'Late Autumn' launched at The Forge, Camden Town: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De0AdNeuAEA
For info and performances please email Taeko Kunishima at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Links for Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/taeko.late.autumn
Reviews of Iridescent Clouds, September 2016
All About Jazz
There is an atmospheric element which Japanese musicians inherently weave throughout their compositions, giving their music a singular dimension which is readily identifiable. Acknowledged for her trademark lyricism, pianist Taeko Kunishima reflects upon the wonders of nature on Iridescent Clouds, offering elegant improvised passages encased in a meditative concept.
Accompanied again by Clive Bell, recognized master of the shakuhachi flute, and secured by the steady bass of Paul Moylan, the ensemble is augmented by percussionist Camilo Tirado. Additional exotic gradations are presented by Hibiki Ichikawa on the traditional three stringed Tsugaru shamisen. The utilization of field recordings by Jeremy Hawkins serves as a backdrop, the record flowing along its conceptual course... (James Nadal)
I listened... and I enjoyed it. Good clear concept and well interpreted by the musicians. Congratulations.
Radio Play of Iridescent Clouds
KZFR Radio in Northern California: http://www.kzfr.org/broadcasts/6430
Played on Pure Jazz Radio in New York on Jazz Is, presented by Chris Hodgkins, also on Jazz London Radio
Reviews of Late Autumn, September 2011
Pianist Taeko Kunishima's third record, Late Autumn,
is an exciting work full of intriguing compositions, diverse instrumentation
and top-notch performances. Any one or two of these attributes, as manifested
on this album, would be enough to carry the day, but the presence of all three
makes for a must-hear release...
To date, Taeko Kunishima's live work has been focused in the UK, Germany and Japan. This
thoroughly modern and captivating record may be one to help her break through
to a more global audience, including casual jazz fans looking for something new
but also the aficionado in need of uncharted terrain to explore. Taeko
Kunishima's Late Autumn is the perfect storm of repertoire, arrangements
and players, with something for everyone. (Lawrence Peryer)
On this, her third album for 33Jazz, Shizuoka-born,
London-based pianist Taeko Kunishima has retained only shakahuchi player Clive
Bell from her previous recording, Red Dragonfly, but the energy level attained
on that fine album remains undimmed here, provided by trumpeter Sean Corby,
bassist Paul Moylan, and drummer Maxwell Hallett, supplemented by percussionist
David Ross and (on the title-track) by vocalist Rio Roberts.
Instead of the relatively conventional line-up of Red
Dragonfly (the core band of which was a piano trio plus saxophonist Russell Van
Den Berg), Late Autumn sets the composer/leader's alternately punchy and
lyrical piano against an intriguing mix of trumpet and flute, tastefully
tweaked and occasionally embellished electronically by producer Bell.
The all-original material ranges from the texturally
adventurous, stirring "Return to Life", its pleasingly splintered, somewhat
woozy theme giving rise to vigorous piano and flaring trumpet solos; the
alternately slinky and infectiously brisk "Kimie"; the appropriately softly
pattering "Spring Rain"; and the lighter, brighter percussion-driven piece
"Promise", but whatever they're asked to play, the band cohere impressively,
Bell's shakuhachi in particular lending the whole album a welcome
distinctiveness. Imaginative, unexpectedly varied, powerful but sensitive music
from a pianist who should be much better known. (Chris Parker)
Played with an outstanding sense of rhythm, combining flexible and firm. Beginning
with solo trumpet, the shakuhachi effectively offers exotic, oriental colouring.
Then cunning cyber-effects (eg distorted or over-amped trumpet and piano) spring
surprises round every corner. It’s a kaleidoscopic journey that will keep listeners bemused. Kunishima is an ancient Ninja, giving an outstanding, dignified performance.
More information: email email@example.com
■新進気鋭の英国ジャズを発信し続けるレーベル、33Recordsからのアルバム第3弾となるのは、Late Autumn（晩秋）と題された新録音！ 研ぎ澄まされた感性に憂いと郷愁がたっぷりと凝縮されている。