Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
With this project, the Japanese pianist Junko Onishi, who has worked with alto sax great Jackie McLean, breaks from her straight-ahead style with an impassioned excursion into retro-jazz fusion. Buoyed by electric-acoustic... more »
With this project, the Japanese pianist Junko Onishi, who has worked with alto sax great Jackie McLean, breaks from her straight-ahead style with an impassioned excursion into retro-jazz fusion. Buoyed by electric-acoustic bassist Reginald Veal and drummers Karriem "Ol Skool Jamz" Riggins and Tamaya Honda, Onishi's electric evocations and improvisations are reminiscent of Chick Corea's Return to Forever days on the frenetic and funky "BWV" and the fuzz-toned, guitar-synthed psychedelic take on the Cream hit "Sunshine of Your Love." The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' moves with a moody, medium-tempo bass ostinato. Les McCann's classic soul-jazz anthem, "Compared to What," is capped by Onishi's Jimmy Smith-like organ and the sanctified vocals of a singer known only as "Peace." Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" is given an equally down-home reading in an acoustic trio setting, while "Eulogia Variations" evokes the circular, improvisational seances held by Bill Evans. The D-minor, two-drum percussion discussion of "Complexions" rounds out this satisfying recording from this evolving and open-minded musician. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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A major jazz artist reinvents herself (somewhat...)
Fred Davidson | Urbana, Illinois, USA | 06/21/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is probably a time in the career of all jazz artists when a certain boredom sets in. The repertoire seems too familiar, the bridges too well-trodden, the jokes to the audience somewhat too stale. (Miles Davis hit this wall several times; once it led him to produce "Bitches' Brew" -- 'nuf said.) It seems that the magnificently talented Junko Onishi has run up to the wall as well, and in response she has given us "Fragile". This is a good re-invention. She delves into a rougher and frankly more entertaining jazz; this record may connect beyond typical jazz listeners. There is a challenging cover of the Gene McDaniels classic "Compared to What" and a very nice rendition of the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil number "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin" -- I did not know that song could be played that well. There is even a cover of Cream's "Sunshine of your Love". We also have some good Onishi original material here (e.g. "BMV"), and the entire recording has a kind of fresh exploratory energy. She is a fabulous pianist with one of the best techniques going in jazz piano right now. The re-invention is not over. Her former work, and possibly her former persona, has many echoes in "Fragile", although for a truly dazzling introduction to Onishi I would recommend an earlier CD called "Piano Quintet Suite". In the work yet to come, I sense a kind of daring and provocative challenge. "Fragile" is the first offering against that challenge (and is well worth your investment). More to come. Stay tuned to the Onishi channel."
Junko Proceeds in a new Direction
Fred Davidson | 07/11/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Junko Onishi is one of the new breed of truly exciting pianists. If you want a fine introduction to her check out Vol 1 or 2 Live at the Village Vanguard. She makes a trio truly sound exciting. Surf the web & see some of the reviews All Music Guide etc. and you'll see I'm not alone. I'd actually rate this 4.5 stars if I could. She's great can't wait till she tours!"