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Makoto's best recording to date
J. Levinson | Media, PA USA | 03/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Makoto and his cohorts, drummer Clarence Penn and bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, deliver effective performances of ten of his intriguing originals. The tunes range from upbeat bop-derived melodies to more delicate ballads, all delivered with refined sensitivity and phrasing. As the title implies, this is a trio by design, not default, as the players empathically combine their talents to produce a potent ensemble effect. John Scofield guests on several tracks and adds a contrasting texture, subtly expanding the tonal palette without any disruption to the flow of the group mind. Makoto's delicate touch is undoubtedly in the Bill Evan's school of jazz piano, possibly even more refined. Kitagawa solos effectively as the mood requires, and Penn swings solidly at every tempo."