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Album Review

What the world does not need is yet another slavish tribute to the great Fats Waller, one in which his original arrangements are re-created and his personal style respectfully reproduced. Aki Takase, being the slightly slantwise genius that she is, conceived of something very different for this project: a tribute album that would incorporate some of Waller's compositions alongside pieces by other New Orleans composers and original pieces by Takase herself — some of which would allude slyly to the great man's sound, and others which would bring a completely different flavor to the mix. Her helpers include bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, trombonist Nils Wogram, and the even more slantwise genius Eugene Chadbourne, who contributes vocals, banjo, and guitar. Familiar tunes like "Viper Rag" and "Handful of Keys" are given slightly twisted but delightful arrangements, and other period pieces like "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" rub shoulders with Takase's own numbered intermezzi, which are often contemplative and harmonically spiky. The vocals tend to be a bit goofy, and some of the arrangements start out with long sections of skronky, atonal group improvisation. But the whole album hangs together surprisingly well and serves its purpose admirably: it celebrates the spirit of Waller's music without aping it thoughtlessly.


Born: 26 January 1948 in Osaka, Japan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

While remaining steeped in the musical traditions of her native Japan, pianist and composer Aki Takase emerged as one of the most versatile figures in contemporary jazz, her work running the gamut from conventional structures and harmonies to complete abstraction. Born in Osaka on January 26, 1948, and raised in Tokyo, she received her first piano lessons at the age of three, going on to study at Tohogakuen Music University. Influenced by the work of Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and Charles Mingus,...
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Plays Fats Waller (feat. Eugene Chadbourne), Aki Takase
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 21 December 2006

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