John Coates Jr.

Tokyo Concert

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With a flurry of recording activity in the late '70s and early '80s for the now defunct Omnisound label, jazz pianist John Coates Jr. was finally revealed to a larger audience than just the those able to hear him at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA, where he was regularly featured for over 20 years. Tokyo Concert contains only six of the 16 numbers from a 1979 performance, but none of these performances is less than outstanding. His approach to "Willow Weep for Me" starts dramatically before turning to a loping treatment with just a touch of playfulness. Sonny Rollins' "Doxy" is very fresh, with a driving walking bass powering most of the piece. Among the trio of originals included on the disc, the brooding, somewhat melancholy "Nameless" stands out. He surprises his audience with an improvisation based upon "Defune," a decades-old composition by Haseo Sugiyama. Unavailable since the demise of Omnisound, this LP is well worth snapping up.

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