Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Richard Beirach, Terumasa Hino, Yoshiaki Masuo - 1976 - Zal

Richard Beirach, Terumasa Hino, Yoshiaki Masuo

01. Mavrodaphne 6:13
02. Broken Wing 4:38
03. Yesterdays 6:31
04. Zal 7:02
05. Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair 4:15
06. What Is This Thing Called Love 8:58

Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Terumasa Hino
Guitar – Yoshiaki Masuo
Piano – Richard Beirach

I had heard of this album but never gave it much thought until I stumbled across it on the net. Amazon prime had a new copy and was letting it go for $4! Naturally I snapped it up. And it's not just a good example of early Richie-it's great. There's a wonderful consistent mood on this album. It flows from the guitar duos into the flugelhorn duos perfectly. You get to hear some of Beirach's great originals, Broken wing and the lesser known Zal and the dreamy Mavrodaphne. Beirach's penchant for exploring certain standards like Yesterdays and What is this Thing are nicely represented here. I love his interpretation of Black is the Color. He may have been the first to take it in this direction.

Also, I have to say the sound of this 1976 release is nothing short of amazing. It was released in 2006. The remastering makes it sound like an ECM recording. I'm not exaggerating. Supposedly recorded in Richie's home studio, it was actually recorded by David Baker and judging from the audio, in a pro studio. It sounds way too good for a home recording.

If you can find this at a decent price, I urge any fans of Richie Beirach to pick up a copy of this rare album.