“Kamisama no Uta”
Koichi Sato (piano), YUKARI (flute)
Thomas Morgan (bass), Satoshi Takeishi (Percussion/Drums)
“SYNCHRONIC” released from QFTF in October 2017.
All About Jazz
YUKARI With THOMAS MORGAN / SATOSHI TAKEISHI – Synchronic (QFTF 025; Earth) Featuring Yukari on flute, alto & bass flutes, Thomas Morgan on contrabass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums & percussion. The last time we heard from Japanese flutist, Yukari, was in 2011, when she played at DMG and left us with a couple of her fine CD’s. In the past Yukari has worked with Ben Monder, Carlo Costa and Greg Osby. She has been living in Brooklyn for the past 13 years and considers this disc to be a snapshot of Brooklyn. Yukari here works with a formidable Downtown rhythm team, the ubiquitous Thomas Morgan (for Bill Frisell, David Binney, Scott DuBois & Paul Motian) and restless drummer, Satoshi Takeishi (Michael Attias, Erik Friedlander & Patrick Zimmerli). I just caught Satoshi Takeishi last night with Gordon Grdina at Cornelia St., reminding me once again of what an important part he is of the Downtown Scene.
This first thing I noticed about this disc is how well it is recorded, a perfectly balanced well-recorded trio. On the opening track, “Les Oiseaux”, the trio is swinging hard, effortlessly with a joyous, uplifting vibe. On the title track, Yukari, sails along with the strong, skeletal rhythm section. The is a robust, dynamic and powerful trio and they work strongly together. From what I can half of these songs were written by Ms. Yukari, the rest improvised by the trio. For many years, I thought that Nicole Mitchell’s trio with Harrison Bankhead & Hamid Drake were the best flute trio anywhere. This trio can certainly give them a run for their money. Thomas Morgan’s powerful bass is often at the center of many of the pieces, spinning a web, casting a spell, never playing too many or two few notes to keep this trio perfectly balanced. There are a few pieces where we can here what sounds like fragments of written parts. There are some pieces which stand out, like “363”, where Yukari overdubs a couple of complex flute lines near the end. No matter how free certain pieces appear to be, there is something magical that keeps this trio consistently focused, playing as one force of nature. In the past year, DMG has had performances by master flutists: Robert Dick and Jim Denley, as well as an especially great set from Nicole Mitchell (w/ Joelle Leandre & Melanie Dyer) at the Vision Fest. Once we get to hear a set from Yukari, we will have seen & heard the best flutists of the current creative scene. Lucky us!
– Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG July 2018
Shoko Nagai (piano), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass), YUKARI (flute)
Miya Masaoka (Koto &Electronics), Tamaya Honda (drums)
@Pit Inn 2016