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New York Attitude

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Album Review

Record labels have inundated the jazz world with numerous jazz wunderkinds in their teens or early twenties who have formidable chops and (supposedly) the potential to become a lasting star. Many have gained exposure for a brief time and a few CDs before falling into oblivion. But Japanese alto saxophonist Erena Terakubo is unlikely to become such a flash in the pan, as she demonstrates not only considerable chops for her tender age but a confidence in playing with acknowledged jazz masters like pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Ron Carter (both of whom have long been active in jazz education in addition to their vast discographies), along with the talented drummer Lee Pearson. Barron's hard-charging post-bop vehicle "New York Attitude" is a potent opener, with Terakubo holding her own as a soloist though Barron and Carter are hardly taking it easy on her. She shows her maturity with her use of space and rapid-fire runs in the old chestnut "Star Eyes," while adding a gritty touch as well. Her breezy playing in "Invitation" is also a strong indicator of her abilities. The rising young trumpeter/flügelhornist Dominick Farinacci is a guest on several tracks, including on the soul-jazz favorite "This Here," the dramatic post-bop "Oriental Folk Song," and the hard bop gem "Del Sasser," complementing rather than overshadowing the young saxophonist. At the end of the date, Terakubo puts it all on the line with an impressive exploration of the oft-recorded standard "Body and Soul," playing spacious, fresh lines backed solely by Carter's creative bass in the introduction, with Barron and Pearson making a delayed entrance. Erena Terakubo has a lot going for her, if she continues to learn from the masters, works to achieve a distinctive sound on alto sax (a challenge to even veteran players to be recognizable after playing just a few notes), and continues to increase her already impressive repertoire, she has the potential to become a jazz master.

New York Attitude, Erena Terakubo
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 19, 2012

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