Internationally-acclaimed Jazz songstress from Japan, TAEKO, releases her 4th album in the US as a leader on October 10th.
In TAEKO’s own words:
“This album shows my true love and dedication to the African-American classical art form called jazz, as a singer who came from Japan where this music is truly loved.”
With a never-ending stream of musical ideas and fluidity of delivery that shows years of studying her craft, TAEKO has built a distinctively unique approach to jazz in addition to mastering the traditional vocal and instrumental aspects. This album features songs written by the beloved jazz greats such as Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Benny Golson, Mal Waldron, and Billie Holiday, with TAEKO’s unique point of view and arrangement.
The album starts off with the tribute to this year’s centennial celebration of Art Blakey, with TAEKO’s arrangement of the Japanese titled Cedar Walton Jazz Messenger classic “Ugetsu”.
The title track, McCoy Tyner’s “Contemplation”, continues Taeko’s exploration of the Doug Carn songbook. Taeko’s arrangement of the song adds Sumie Kaneko’s koto (Japanese 13-string harp) to the group, giving the pensive piece a distinctive Eastern tinged meditative flavor.
1. UGETSU: FANTASY 4:53
2. LEFT ALONE 5:48
3. CONTEMPLATION 7:33
4. GRACIOUS 4:54
5. HAMABE-NO-UTA 4:22
6. THE SONG IS YOU 5:21
7. BETCHA BY GOLLY, WOW 4:40
8. WALTZ FOR DEBBY 4:42
9. THE SUN DIED 3:55
10. HIGH WIRE 4:17
11. I REMEMBER CLIFFORD 6:50
TAEKO - Vocal
Theo Hill - Piano
François Moutin - Bass
Victor Jones - Drums
Guest: Sumie Kaneko – Koto
Producers: TAEKO, Victor Jones, Jeff Jones
Executive Producer: Michael Wolk
"A masterpiece. TAEKO's "CONTEMPLATION" sings truth to power with much love."
~Lamon Fenner “Lamon’s Jazz Break at Eight,” WHCR 90.3 FM The Voice of Harlem, NY www.whcr.org
“The spirit and exuberance of a live in-performance session– I kept expecting tumultuous (and well-deserved) applause after each track.”
~Steve Krawitz, “Jazz for the Common Man,“ WESS 90.3 FM
"TAEKO's voice stands out among the many today that attempt to capture our hearts. Her delivery is traditionally cool and yet deliberate and reassuring. With energy that is honest, her lyrics become blissful and luxurious"
~Pete Fallico, KCSM, The Bay Area's Jazz Station
Full-page feature on Hot House Jazz Magazine! (October 2019) Another Reason to Celebrate - By Elzy Kolb.
Music was her first love, but it took vocalist TAEKO a long time to realize that it can also be a profession ... Read more
Download PDF version from Here
Review on New York City Jazz Record (October 2019) / VOXNEWS by Suzanne Lorge
Since the late '90s, Japan-born TAEKO has been gigging in both New York and her home country, developing a reputation as a confident scat singer and passionate interpreter of classic American jazz and pop tunes. Hew new album, Contemplation (Flat Nine), her fourth as a leader, only solidifies that reputation. She moves effortlessly from an esoteric version of McCoy Tyner's "Contemplation" (with koto accompaniment) to a smoky R&B take on The Stylistics’ "Betcha By Golly Wow" to a charming "Waltz for Debby". The opener, "Ugetsy:Fantasy" uses lyrics from the Earth, Wind & Fire song with the melody of The Jazz Messengers' Japanese-titled standard in a stroke of genius. TAEKO will kick off the album at Birdland (Oct. 10th) Download PDF Version from Here (PDF)