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Radar – “Easy Listening ” – [Tzadik]

A refreshing, minimal approach to jazz from this Japanese sax/piano/bass trio. Mizutani Yasuhisa’s soprano sax work is uncluttered, never trying to do too much. He also adds a textural type of tapping, squeaking, rattling percussion. Pianist Katori Koichiro lays out notes and chords with lots of space between them. He moves over to accordion for some of the more atmospheric pieces. Inada Makoto is a fine bassist with a nice big tone. He composed all the material and seems to be the main man here. Many different moods on this CD, from pensive to conversational to even a bit goofy. Regardless of a track’s mood, all three musicians tend to play less instead of more. They all contribute vocals in various ways, creating on some of the tracks a theatrical, almost comical effect. One of the things that caught my ear is the deliberately stiff way Yasuhisa’s soprano sax enunciates the notes on Track 2, a creative tactic I don’t think I’ve heard before.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on January 26, 2006 at 11:15 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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