Hiroko Kokubu, piano – New York Uncovered (with Christian McBride, acoustic bass; Min Cinelu, drums & percussion) – JVC xrcd

by | Aug 16, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Hiroko Kokubu, piano – New York Uncovered (with Christian
McBride, acoustic bass; Min Cinelu, drums & percussion) – JVC xrcd
VICJ-61241, 57:55 ****:

The only English notes again are various credits and thanks, but a
Japanese insert shows that Kokubu has done at least 15 previous albums
for JVC.  Some appear to be sort of light pop material but this
xrcd – taped using analog gear at 30 ips in a New York City studio last
year – is serious modern jazz and Ms. Kokubu displays a sensitive and
deft touch that is beautifully recorded.  She even contributes two
of the ten tracks; one of them (Ju-Ge-Mu) strikes me as Thelonious Monk
run thru a computer game soundtrack. And her selection of exceptional
tunes is pointed up by two of the tracks coming from the great Benny
Carter.

Percussionist Cinelu uses some subtle tinkling sounds to open the
album, and several tracks feature a quiet, almost meditative piano line
support by more such subtle percussion underpinnings. On the other hand
Kokubu’s treatment of Tico Tico really moves. Every note of McBride’s
bass has a strong musical pitch rather than the indistinct thumping
heard on the low end of many jazz recordings. If excellent jazz piano
trio material skillfully recorded is your bag, this is your disc!

Tracks: Besame Mucho, Stella By Starlight, Key Largo, Tico Tico,
Malaika/Safari, Antonio’s Song, Ju-Ge-Mu, Three Views of a Secret,
Miagete Goran Yoru No Hoshi Wo, Only Trust Your Heart.

– John Henry

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