Yasushi Nakamura Archive

Theo Hill – Promethean  – Posi-Tone 

Theo Hill – Promethean  – Posi-Tone 

Theo Hill – Promethean [TrackList follows] – Posi-Tone PR8168, 54:23 [5/12/17] ****: Generational jazz from pianist Theo Hill. (Theo Hill – piano; Yasushi Nakamura – bass; Mark Whitfield, Jr. – drums) Want to hear the next generation of piano jazz with a solid dose of tradition? Then you need pianist Theo Hill’s sophomore album, the 54-minute Promethean. Over the course of 11 tunes (one original and ten covers), Hill showcases his enthusiasm, his impressive keyboard skills and his vibrant way with jazz standards, classics and adaptations. In 2015 the New York City-based Hill released his debut, Theo Hill Quartet: Live at Smalls. Hill is back with a trio outing with bassist Yasushi Nakamura (his résumé includes the Mark Whitfield Family Band and stage work with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman) and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr., the son of guitarist Mark Whitfield (Whitfield is the only hold-over from Hill’s first album). The threesome open with a sprightly rendition of Bobby Timmons’ “This Here,” a soulful and up-beat composition Timmons penned for Cannonball Adderley. In Hill’s hands, “This Here” has a Horace Silver-esque tint with lots of action on the piano, while Whitfield and Nakamura supply a bouncing cadence. Pianists are a […]

Christian Sands – Reach – Mack Avenue

Christian Sands – Reach – Mack Avenue

Christian Sands – Reach – Mack Avenue MAC1117, 65:36 ****: Masterful jazz from an emerging jazz giant! (Christian Sands – piano; Marcus Baylor – drums; Gilad Hekselman – guitar; Christian McBride – double bass; Yasushi Nakamura – double bass; Christian Rivera – percussion; Marcus Strickland – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet) Christian Sands has become a notable jazz pianist at a young age. He started playing at the age of four, and attended the prestigious Manhattan School Of Music. One of his earliest mentors was Billy Taylor. His other influences include Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Marcus Foster and Christian McBride. Sands rose to prominence, touring with McBride’s band, Inside Straight. Still in his twenties, he has recorded several albums as a leader and became an American Pianist Association Jazz fellowship Awards Finalist.    Sands’ latest release on Mack Records, Reach is a collection of original compositions and two unlikely covers that bridge a diverse assortment of jazz styles. He is primarily backed by Marcus Baylor (drums) and Yasushi Nakamura (double bass), with some notable guest artists. The opening track, “Armando’s Song” (sounds like a homage to Chick Corea) begins with a lively piano-groove intro. The main impetus of the arrangement is […]