Jazz icon Akiko Yano finds her electronic muse

Apr 11, 2008

Jazz icon Akiko Yano finds her electronic muse

She released her acclaimed debut album 32 years ago at the age of 21, but Akiko Yano still refuses to rest on her laurels. Even with a 27th solo album on the way, the pianist, vocalist, lyricist and composer is still searching for new ...

Mar 7, 2008

Pat Metheny "Day Trip"

Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt. Having played together on tour since 2003, guitarist Pat Metheny’s new trio had performed live songs from his latest album, “Day Trip,” before they even sat down to record it — in one or two takes per song — ...

Tomonao Hara

Feb 22, 2008

Tomonao Hara

Amusician of many stripes, 41-year-old trumpeter Tomonao Hara, a recent collaborator with New York-based trumpeter Brian Lynch, revisits an old haunt this weekend to show three different sides of his personality. Hara, who performed on the film score for Takeshi Kitano’s yakuza flick “Brother” ...

Feb 8, 2008

Steve Reid Ensemble "Daxaar"

Western musician goes to Africa to record original compositions with native artists. No, it’s not Damon Albarn making a followup to “Mali Music” (2002), a pop-infused stab at African tunes, but Bronx native and Swiss resident Steve Reid. The drummer, composer and bandleader — ...

Sergio Mendes

Feb 1, 2008

Sergio Mendes

“It’s been a mutual love affair,” says Sergio Mendes explaining his popularity in Japan by phone from Los Angeles. “That’s why I come almost every year.” Latin pop’s most durable icon, Mendes’ first tour in Japan was in 1968 with his breakthrough act Brasil ...

Han Bennink

Jan 25, 2008

Han Bennink

Unlike most jazz drummers — even those that lead their own band — Han Bennink is a force unto himself, playing in his own inimitable way regardless of who’s alongside him. Audiences in Tokyo will get to experience this for themselves next month when ...

Jan 11, 2008

Kei Akagi Trio "Liquid Blue"

Though a music professor at the University of California, Irvine with 13 albums under his belt, 54-year-old Kei Akagi is still best known for having played on Miles Davis’ last recorded works. The Sendai-born, Cleveland- raised pianist and composer maintains the link on his ...

Dec 7, 2007

Daphne "Carmin"

Though branded the French Bjork, 33-year-old Daphne’s claim to fame in Japan comes from singing the theme song in a commercial for Kanebo hair products. But “La Cle,” a bonus track on the Japanese release of her second album, “Carmin,” reveals a sultry, sexy ...

The Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quintet

Nov 9, 2007

The Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quintet

Gonzalo Rubalcaba may be Cuba’s best export besides cigars. Though the 44-year-old pianist/composer, now based in the United States, has played with various groups in Japan before, notably at the Mount Fuji Jazz Festival in the 1990s, for his forthcoming tour he will hold ...

The Quartet

Oct 5, 2007

The Quartet

Dream teams of any sort are temporary creations made to fulfill a fan’s fantasies, and musical ones do not get any more fantastic than The Quartet. Pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette are giants of the jazz ...