Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Isao Suzuki Trio - 1976 - Black Orpheus

Isao Suzuki Trio 
1976 
Black Orpheus


01. Manha De Carnaval
02. Angel Eyes
03. Who Can I Turn To
04. In A Sentimental Mood
05. Blues

Bass, Cello – Isao Suzuki
Drums – Donald Bailey
Piano, Electric Piano – Tsuyoshi Yamamoto

Recorded on February 20, 1976 at AOI Studio, Tokyo.


Isao Suzuki is one of the most important recording artists on the TBM label. Until his last album “Touch!”, he usually recorded with Kazumi Watanabe on guitar and his old friend Kunihiko Sugano on piano. However, he thinks highly of Tsuyoshi Yamamoto on piano and at a joint concert with Kenny Burrell, Suzuki asked Yamamoto to join him. Yamamoto’s powerful technique and taste for swing are a good match for Suzuki.

While Donald Bailey is a really exciting drummer. Donald grew up in Philadelphia and has amassed a lot of experience, including playing with top organist Jimmy Smith for nearly eight years. Unique in his drums setting is that his snare is fixed extremely oblique and tom-toms were fixed close to the snare. In addition, various bells and chimes are usually hung up. His favorite style is jazz mixed with latin beat. His simple but exciting jazz beat is very attractive and influential in the group.

Sukuki is one of the j-jazz greats — and this is one of his top sessions, laid down for the TBM label in 1976. The album title is a bit of a red herring, since the only music from Black Orpheus is the first track, the classic Manha De Carnaval. That's also the standout track — but the whole of the album grooves very nicely too, thanks to Yamamoto's nifty keyboard work, especially on the Rhodes, with Donald Bailey anchoring everything most effectively.

3 comments: