Takeshi Asai
Trio, Vol. VI
Fono Bono, 2022

 
April 19, 2022

Takeshi Asai’s latest album was recorded with Bob Gingery and Brian Woodruff.

 
A brilliant Japanese pianist who has lived in New York for years, Takeshi Asai has a particular predilection for the “classic” jazz trio, a line-up with which he recorded five albums over the course of his career, now six with this new Trio, Vol. VI.
 

With the help of Bob Gingery on double bass and Brian Woodruff on drums Asai presents a modern sound developed in a series of original songs and on the cover of James Taylor’s “Fire And Rain”. The album favors slow or moderate songs, which bring out the very beautiful acoustic sounds of the three musicians (“Yonder”). Even the most brilliant moments, such as the (almost) funk “(I Didn’t Know That It Was) Bacon”, are permeated by a relaxed, at times indolent, mood.

Asai writes easily internalized and well-developed melodies (“Iota”, “C Triad On Db”), but is equally at home in avant-garde (“Blue Brain”) or classical tunes (“Air On The White Keys” ). Also noteworthy is “Ave Marta”, a jazz waltz with gospel sounds, with the theme exposed in unison from piano and double bass.

Trio, Vol VI is an album that thrives on balance, thus creating a fairy world that becomes a pleasant refuge from the daily horrors we watch on the news. A surprising record with very interesting compositions, good musicians with a remarkable interplay, a fascinating and captivating overall sound.
(EM)

 

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