Taeko Kunishima ''Space to be''
| CD News | 2006-03-21
| Space to Be...|
Taeko Kunishima | 33 Jazz
...those seeking to fuse the musical and cultural influences of her native Japan with of her new-found home in England. Alongside her work with many UK jazz artists, she has also been working with musicians from many different cultures and countries, and has built up an impressive range of musical partnerships, ranging from latin pop to electronic music and contemporary Classical music.....
Vortex Jazz, Chris Parker review page (9th March, 2006)
"Since starting piano studies at seven with Mozart and Beethoven, Taeko Kunishima has studied the Romantic, Impressionist and modern composers, plus jazz (via an interest in Miles Davis) and traditional Japanese music, and the material on this quintet album reflects, in varying degrees, a good many of these influences. Thus, a plangent Japanese folk song might provide the theme for a straightahead or even lightly funky jazz-based workout; a solo-piano passage drawn from the same source might draw either on Impressionism or the spikier pungency of another of her influences, Stan Tracey; a jazz-bass riff might underlie a piano solo laced with Japanese cadences and harmonies. This is not to suggest, however, that the album is characterised by magpie borrowing; on the contrary, courtesy of solid, committed group interplay from trombonist Paul Taylor (of Blowpipes fame), neatly fluent guitarist James Fenn and tidy rhythm-section work from bassist Oroh Angiama and drummer Michael Simmonds, its music coheres surprisingly well, the leader/composer's florid lyricism alternating with passages of robust jazz improvisation to produce an intriguingly varied but cogent set."
All About Jazz by Dan McClenaghan (16th March,2006)
"Don''t let the cover art fool you-it looks as though it would be right at home on the front of a drifty New Age set of sounds. But Space to Be... claims its spot in the mainstream jazz category, taking inspiration from a batch of influences: straightahead jazz, modern classical and Japanese folk songs.
Pianist Taeko Kunishima began piano studies at a young age in her native Japan, absorbing Mozart and Beethoven and later the modern piano music of Chopin, Debussy, Bartok and Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.
Kunishima''s jazz compositions lean toward lyricism and delicacy, catchy melodies and occasional driving grooves. Her band is comprised of piano, bass, guitar, drums and trombone, an unusual configuration that makes for an interesting sound, including contrasts between the dance-like delicacy of "Sakura" and the driving forward momentum of of "A Space to be Filled." Trombonist Paul Taylor turns the aggression Five of the eight tunes are Kunishima-penned; three more are folks songs, Japanese or Okinawan, adding a touch of the exotic to the jazz sound.".. www.allaboutjazz.com