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Atsuko Hashimoto’s album Until the Sun Comes Up provides her trio with many opportunities to display the qualities that have made this tight group popular.
The diminutive Hashimoto is in full command of her Hammond B3 and leads from the front.
There is spontaneity in her performances as, on the beat, she swings some famous and popular numbers: All or Nothing at All; So in Love; What a Wonderful World; You Are My Sunshine and The Good Life are included in the 11 tracks on the album.
The ubiquitous drummer Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Graham Dechter complete the trio. In contrast to many modern trios, this band swings in a relaxed and welcoming, laid-back style, and you will want to keep the CD near your player or in your car.
Hashimoto proves once again that many fine jazz musicians arrive through the academic route.
The album is not available locally, but you can hear the trio in action and buy the CD from www.caprirecords.com
I am not a fan of so-called “smooth jazz”, and Kirk Whalum is usually listed in this genre. His latest album Romance Language certainly belongs in the category, but it has some qualities that lift it above the usual “elevator music” associated with the Kenny Gs of this world.
I think the secret is that not only does Whalum play tenor and soprano saxophones and leads the vocals, he is surrounded by accomplished musos – nine in all. Included among the 10 tracks are: They Say it’s Wonderful; Dedicated to You; My One and Only Love; You Are Too Beautiful and Spend My Life With You. Kevin Turner on electric guitar deserves special mention. You will love the arrangement of You Are My Sunshine. Another swinging album.
• Win! Win! Win!
Sheer Sound is giving away five copies of Kirk Whalum’s album, Romance Language, in today’s competition. Just answer this easy question:
With which jazz genre is Kirk Whalum usually associated?
E-mail: jassmanquiz@ yahoo.com and include your name, postal address and contact numbers as I call the winners and confirm the delivery address and the answers. Competition closes at noon on Saturday. Only one entry per competition.