eri yamamoto : pianist / composer
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2009-12 2008-09 links 日本語記事 (Japanese Articles)      
2001-2008
AllAboutJazz Hot House Jazz Magazine, June 2008 by Elzy Kolb

 

by Bill Shoemakerin JazzReview (UK)Aug2008

Review in Jazz Time(US)
 
 

 

THE WIRE (Review in July issue, on stands now):

“.. she’s an expressively versatile pianist with a knack for gradually evolving harmonies rather than hectic development of material.”

 

OTHER MUSIC: OTHER MUSIC NEWSLETTER / SITE

“Great new jazz record alert!! .. it feels wide and expansive, calming and tranquil.  A wonderful listen from start to finish.”

 

Master Class at Tunis University in Tunis, Tunisia April 12th, 2008

http://www.lapresse.tn/images/news/detail_news/71349

Savoir chanter, c’est sacre´
Les master classes, renforce´s cette anne´e gra^ce a` la coope´ration de l’ISM de Tunis, consolident une meilleure pratique du jazz, renforcent les liens d’amitie´ avec des artistes chevronne´s et contribuent au ne´cessaire rapprochement des cultures, absolument indispensable dans le dialogue interculturel.

L’Institut supe´rieur de musique de Tunis a ouvert, samedi dernier, le cycle des master classes consacre´ a` la pratique du jazz, cette belle musique afro-ame´ricaine, cre´e´e au de´but du XXe sie`cle par les communaute´s noires du Sud des Etats-Unis. Cet atelier est anime´ par la Japonaise Eri Yamamoto au piano, Lewis Barnes a` la trompette et Leena Conquest au chant.

Un trio venu des Etats-Unis, dans le cadre de la 4e e´dition de Jazz a` Carthage by Tunisiana, et dont le ro^le se limite uniquement au master class.
Il n’y avait pas que des e´tudiants dans la grande salle des re´pe´titions de l’Institut. La pre´sence de professeurs e´tait a` ce titre assez significative et motivante, en ce sens qu’elle visait a` expliquer et a` faire admettre a` ces jeunes passionne´s de musique qu’il s’agit la` d’un art exigeant qui demande une continuelle remise en question de ses propres expe´riences, une volonte´ de´libe´re´e d’e^tre a` l’e´coute de ce qui se fait de mieux en matie`re musicale.
Une vingtaine d’e´tudiants inscrits en deuxie`me anne´e de mai^trise ou en maste`re, encadre´s par le trompettiste, la pianiste et le professeur de chant, e´taient e´galement suivis et observe´s attentivement par Sonia M’barek, Alya Sellami et M’hamed-Ali Camoun, leurs professeurs.
Dans ce charivari ou` une certaine me´lodie musicale n’e´tait point absente, le trio de professionnels intervenait sans cesse pour donner son avis sur le jeu ou le chant, placer un conseil, exhorter tel ou tel e´tudiant a` ame´liorer sa me´thode expe´rimentale.

Un atelier libe´rateur d’e´nergie

Sonia M’barek, enseignante a` l’ISM, a bien voulu nous confier ses impressions: 《L’ISM est associe´ avec Jazz a` Carthage qui est a` fe´liciter pour ces incontournables master classes. Nos e´tudiants sont invite´s tout au long de ces huit journe´es a` confronter leur expe´rience  face a` de ve´ritables professionnels. Cela est d’autant plus louable et me´ritoire que ces rencontres constituent pour eux une occasion re^ve´e de de´velopper l’e´tendue de leurs connaissances. L’ISM, poursuit Sonia M’barek, a le souci d’assurer une polyvalence, une certaine aptitude a` ces jeunes e´tudiants qui les pre´disposerait a` avoir une possibilite´ dans le choix de la spe´cialisation. Il existe deux voies: l’art oriental et les e´tudes en art sce´nique. Nous attachons beaucoup d’inte´re^t a` cette expe´rience ine´dite qui est en tout point salutaire et be´ne´fique》.

Alya Sellami, ce´le`bre chanteuse lyrique et professeur a` l’ISM,e´tait pre´sente pour observer la technique du chant de ses e´le`ves, juger leur performance et estimer leur valeur. A ce sujet, elle nous de´clare : 《J’approuve entie`rement ce projets de master classes qui contribuent au de´veloppement de l’excellente musique au contact d’excellents professionnels et incitent nos e´le`ves a` s’essayer a` l’improvisation vocale. Je fais une initiation au jazz avec M’hamed Ali Camoun, pianiste et compositeur d’envergure. J’assure la classe Art lyrique et sce´nique, nos e´le`ves sont implique´s dans quatre types de chansons : jazz, musique orientale, ope´ra et improvisation contemporaine. Certains de mes e´le`ves sont doue´s et ouverts a` toutes les disciplines. J’admire ce que fait mon colle`gue Camoun qui propose au sein de l’institut un jazz club, paralle`lement aux cours qu’il donne sur la the´orie du jazz et des musiques du XXe sie`cle.

Pour revenir a` ce trio, je dirai qu’il est en train de donner une ide´e tre`s spontane´e et authentique du jazz...  le jeu de ces artistes est fonde´ pour une large part sur l’improvisation, le traitement original de la matie`re sonore et une mise en valeur spe´cifique du rythme, le  swing. leur musique a une a^me. Ils sont de ve´ritables professionnels parce qu’ils ne recherchent pas les honneurs et les flatteries. Ils sont contre l’encensement et le manque d’exigence. Savoir chanter est sacre´》
M’hamed Ali Camoun dirige le jazz club a` l’ISM. C’est lui qui assure la direction des master classes. Auteur d’une the`se de doctorat, soutenue a` La Sorbonne avec une spe´cialisation en jazz, en plus d’un diplo^me en harmonie  moderne,attribue´ par la fe´de´ration nationale des e´coles d’influence de jazz en France, il est depuis juin 2007 a` l’ISM en tant qu’assistant.
《Je suis tre`s satisfait des re´sultats de cet atelier. La performance de ces grands artistes, venus des Etats-Unis, est remarquable. J’admire leur savoir-faire, de me^me que le rendement de nos e´tudiants, particulie`rement le pianiste Wathiq Fekih, le trompettiste Sahbi et la vocaliste Emna Jaziri》.
Adel LATRECH

 

Jazz Hot Magazine (September 2007 issue), France

 

Musica Jazz" (Italy) 2006

▼ All About Jazz" Newspaper & Website Oct. 2003

"Three Feel"
Eri Yamamoto | Jane Street By
Terrell Holmes

As the denizens of Arthur's Tavern in Greenwich Village undoubtedly know, pianist Eri Yamamoto is one of jazz's most dynamic new talents. Her new CD, Three Feel, gives the listener an idea of what her audiences are treated to each week. Joining her on this trio date are drummer Ikuo Takeuchi and bassist Alan Hampton.

Yamamoto's singular approach to playing is evident from jump as she opens with a fabulously dynamic and uptempo rendition of John Coltrane's, er, Richard Rodgers' "My Favorite Things," the pianist's frenetic runs driven by Takeuchi's passionate drumming.
"Hi-Sai" opens up deliberately with a dialogue between Yamamoto and Takeuchi, until a brief plucked statement by Hampton signals the change to a midtempo groove. "Velvet," written by the Hampton, is a challenging ballad, featuring Takeuchi alternating between brushes and sticks and Yamamoto playing with introspection, all of it glued together by the composer's confident bass.

"Just In Time" features fabulous trio work and a nice solo by Takeuchi, who contributes the jaunty and humorously-titled "Frog Days Afternoon," which has more great bass work. "Two Feel," the ostensible title track, opens with a plucked bass and drum dialogue and blossoms into a playful blues. "Tibet Smiles" begins slowly, then builds to a quick tempo, with more great bass and dynamic drumming by Takeuchi. The disc ends with "Half Moon," featured on in a trio setting on Yamamoto's first CD, Up & Coming, but beautifully performed solo here.

Yamamoto penned most of the songs on this exhilarating disc. Her compositional style augments her deft, inventive playing and fits her bandmates like a glove. The prospect of Eri Yamamoto getting better isn't just daunting, it's scary. But like boarding a rollercoaster, you look forward to the thrill.

   

 

Time Out NY  by  Herbie Hancock

 

Time Out NY   8/2001

 
Single File: Eri Yamamoto Trio "Half Moon"
(Jane Street)
 (After reading liner notes) From these notes, it almost sounds like she had no jazz training before she came here. How is that possible?!?
Wow. I don't know anyone could get to this level in such a short period of time, but me hat's off to her. It certainly took me longer than that.
This is her tune, so that means she can write, too. This is just the beginning, and already she's found her own voice.

Herbie Hancock (Pianist)
Time Out, NY Magazine 9/27/2001
CD REVIEW
Eri Yamamoto Trio
Up&Coming
(Jane Street)
How long does it take to become a great jazz musician? Would you believe five and a half years? That would seem to be the case with Eri Yamamoto, a 32-year- old Japanese pianist who abandoned a budding classical career half a decade ago to pursue jazz studies at the New School. Yamamoto had no jazz background whatsoever when she arrived in New York from Kyoto-something I can personally attest to, having heard her stumble through standards some years back at the Loisaida bar that is now Manitoba's. Saloon din tended to drown out Yamamoto's trio until she started pulling out her originals, the attentive silence that greeted them clued me in that fresh ideas were on the way.
Yamamoto's maturity is instantly evidence on the title cut/opener of "UP&COMING,"her self-produced debut. The deceptively simple melody line demands perfect timing, and Yamamoto raises the degree of difficulty by upending it with a bridge in modified waltz-time. The way this impacts her solo is particularly breathtaking: On one chorus, she applies single-note lines reminiscent of Lennie Tristano; next, she alternates running trills with off-kilter phrases; and finally - just before a bass solo by John Graham Davis - she slides back and forth across drummer Ikuo Takeuchi's supple pulse.
And yet that's only a small sampling of the pianist's breadth and economy. The five originals included here are demonstrate an extraordinarily rich compositional sensibility - to say nothing of a delicate touch - and what's most impressive is how they outpace Yamamoto's takes on classics like Miles Davis's "ALL BLUES" and Vincent Youman's "WITHOUT A SONG." I haven't caught Yamamoto's trio since it took up residence in the Village at Arthur's Tavern two years ago, but if the album is any indication, the time she's spent at the rambunctious watering hole has taught
her hoe familiarity combined with subtlety can move a crowd. That understanding is crucial for any musician hoping to become a great player as quickly as she has.

K. Leander Williams (Music Writer)
Time Out, NY Magazine 8/2/2001



ERI YAMAMOTO
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