Storm Zone

Takashi Matsunaga

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Storm Zone Review

by Scott Yanow

Pianist Takashi has a relatively gentle sound that contrasts with his harmonically complex solos. On Storm Zone, recorded in his native Japan, Takashi and his trio (bassist Daiki Yasukagawa and drummer Junji Hirose) perform nine of the pianist's originals. Takashi's works tend to be picturesque, which is not too surprising when one considers that the songs on this CD include dark ballads and pieces dealing with the dawn of a new day, a mighty river, the jungle, the Iraq war ("The World in Sorrow"), a typhoon, and whales. Tricky time changes and rhythms somehow sound effortless in the finished result, and the trio members often seem to think as one. Takashi's debut on an American label (leased from Somethin' Else) is no mere jam session and serves as a fine introduction to the promising young pianist.

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