Takehiro Honda

Salaam Salaam

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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny

Takehiro Honda's most complex and challenging LP, Salaam Salaam pairs the pianist with bassist Junie Booth and drummer Eric Gravatt to explore the kind of creative reaches typically reserved for larger ensembles. If anything, the record is that much more remarkable for achieving its epic scope from so few core elements. Honda's adherence to austerity contrasts sharply with the bold, multi-dimensional sensibilities that signify the vast majority of post-Coltrane excursions into spiritual expression, yet the sheer soulfulness and abandon of his performance nevertheless vaultsSalaam Salaam into the same physical and metaphysical planes. No less vital is the record's unusual warmth and tonal purity, which further underscore the humanity at the root of even its most abstract expressions.