Shota Osabe Piano Trio – Happy Coat – First Impression Music

by | Aug 19, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Shota Osabe Piano Trio – Happy Coat – First Impression Music LIM K2HD 031 (Hi-Res standard CD), 61:58 *****:

(Shota Osabe, piano; Ray Brown, doublebass; Harold Jones, drums)

This was the second-to-last recording the great Ray Brown made, 123 days before his passing back in 2002.  The venue was Capitol Studio A in Hollywood. It was pianist and arranger Osabe’s first CD and F.I.M.’s Winston Ma licensed it from him for this reissue employing the K2HD mastering technology, which packs 192K/24-bit information onto the standard CD format.

Pianist Osabe is based in San Francisco and also performs in Japan.  He topped the SoundClick Top 20 Jazz chart in 2003 with a Ray Brown tune included here, Can’t Leave Her Again.  His style is strongly melodic and swinging without grandstanding, but of course the real pulse of the whole enterprise here is the  masterful bassist Brown, whose every note is conveyed with strength and clarity by the original 30 ips analog recording and the K2HD processing.  Osabe’s piano is spread between the center and right channel while drummer Jones has most of the left channel. Jones’ background includes playing for Count Basie and Sarah Vaughan.

The 14 tunes cover a variety of standards and some originals such as the title tune composed by Osabe.  A bow to pop/rock is the final track by Lennon & McCartney.  I did some A/B comparison of Happy Coat to a couple of piano trio albums in JVC’s xrcd and xrcd24 series.  No contest – the K2HD disc is clearly the winner.  If you’re a perfectionist, it’s worth the additional cost (SRP: $35).

TrackList:
1.  Willow Weep for Me
2.  Pretend/Somewhere Along the Way
3.  Moonglow
4.  This is All I Ask
5.  Happy Coat
6.  Can’t Leave Her Again
7.  My Foolish Heart
8.  East of the Sun
9.  Anema E Core
10.  In the Still of the Night
11.  Young and Foolish
12.  Cotton Fields
13.  Too Marvelous for Words
14.  I Saw Her Standing There

 – John Henry

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