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Album Review

In previous projects acoustic pianist Eri Yamamoto has played in a trio, but for Duologue she uses her instrument exclusively in duets with various artists. Her ultra-melodic style is well executed and realized on this very enjoyable CD that has universal appeal, crossing contemporary, progressive, and modern creative genres. There's simplicity and light emphasized, but depth and substance are never far behind in the intelligent constructs of Yamamoto's pretty playing, seasoned with minimalism, developed compositions, and a variety of constructs. That Yamamoto was inspired to play modern jazz upon hearing Tommy Flanagan makes sense when you listen to her melodic good common sense. The tracks "Thank You" and "You Are Welcome" bookend the session with drummer Federico Ughi — they are, respectively, a four-chord minimalist child's song merging into more complex rhythms, and a happy, brisk, attractive melody that suggests Yamamoto has a playful fun quotient within her. There are two pieces with Daniel Carter on alto or tenor sax: the aptly titled "Conversation" and the pensive, drawn-out, and evocative "Violet Sky." Hamid Drake plays only the frame drum during the probing "Circular Movement," with its rounded but nonviolent motion, and the skittish, nearly hyperactive "Midtown Blues," with typical changes of the down-home breed. A longtime workmate of Yamamoto, bassist William Parker, is his usual reliable self on the bouncy, steady swinger "Subway Song," where the pianist evinces the angularity of Lennie Tristano, while "Muse" is the most spiritual and reverent piece of the disc. This is an often wondrous, highly listenable, and tasteful musical offering that is easily recommended for those who come across it. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: Osaka, Japan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Born in Osaka, Japan, Eri Yamamoto began playing classical piano at age three, and within five years was composing her own pieces. Throughout her education she continued to study piano, as well as viola, voice, and composition, but when she came to the U.S. for the first time in 1995 and by chance saw jazz pianist Tommy Flanagan play, she knew she had found the kind of music she truly wanted to pursue. Later that year she enrolled in the New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music program, although...
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Duologue, Eri Yamamoto
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