Natsuki Tamura

White & Blue

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

White is white, but there are 500 shades of blue. These are the colors from the improvised palette of trumpeter Tamura, who gets percussion help here from Jim Black and Aaron Alexander. These ten duet tracks are numbered one through ten, with the first five featuring the ever-witty Black. Triple pianissimo sounds creep in with softly bleating horn and pounding percussion on track one, while flute, roiling percussion, and a minimal, repeated trumpet theme recalling a comedic Lester Bowie highlight track two. Flushing trumpet, softly growling brass, and Black's oriental drumming inform track three. Track four features a Native American chant with scatting and plenty of Satchmo-isms, and the military-themed track five is driven by a rambling melodicism. Tamura and Alexander share an African chant on track six, while track seven features a dance-oriented foundation and a more Don Cherry-like sound from Tamura. Track eight is much more spatial in call-and-response mode; nine features long tones, silence, and a strutting, Ed Blackwell-type beat over squawky trumpet; while ten is much more interactive and purposeful, using several different no-time segments over the course of its nine minutes. Acting as a creative concerto, White & Blue works as a whole, but it must be listened to in its entirety to be fully appreciated.

blue highlight denotes track pick