Friday 22 March 2024

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

I've just checked that we don't say this everytime that there's a new release on BBE from the J-Jazz Masterclass series, "this is the best todate" but let's say it now; 'Song For Hope' by Aki Takase Trio is the best yet!

Back in 1982 when this album was originally released, The Special's 'Ghost Town' had already been No. 1 in the UK and after all the clubs had been closed down, perhaps there was a need for a 'Song For Hope'; well things couldn't have got much worse which is where we are today worldwide?

So what we needed was a night out to see a live jazz trio with Takase leading on piano, Nobuyoshi Ino (bass) and out favourite drummer of all time, Takeo Moriyama.

You'll recall the Moriyama's 'Live At Lovely (see review HERE) with his quartet, well he almost steels the show on the massive 13 minutes of 'Mountain Forest' (even getting a "whoop" out of the crowd!  An ENJA recording of thier debut at the Berlin Jazz Festival)

Clearly, Aki a child prodege at a very early age who went onto study free spirits like Mingus and Coleman before moving to New York and play with names like Lester Bowie, John Zorn and Dave Liebman (who appeared on Aki's 1981 album, 'Minerva's Owl). This 'freedom' on 'Song For Hope' is obvious on 'Mountain Forest' but the restraint, love and yes, hope that shines through on the three other tracks; 'Minerva's Owl', 'Monologue' and the title track.

As you might have guessed, the German recording is close to perfection such that you almost feel you are there. And you'd so want to be as she shows off perhaps a little on 'Monologue' but apparently she's been living in Berlin since 1988 and has played with the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.

Even though she's in her 70s, I wonder if the J-Jazz masterminds, Tony Higgins and Mike Peden could get her to come to the London Jazz Festival this year?

For completists, I understand that this recording is the full 5th November 1981 performance, there are no bonus tracks or 'extras' so this is it, ad it's magnificent.

Recorded live at the Berlin Jazz Festival on November 5th, 1981

Artist:Aki Takase Trio 

Title:  Song For Hope

Release date: 22nd March, 2024

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE677

Format: LP / Digital / Bandcamp 



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