JAZU: Jazz from Japan. Review. Aria


Leccia Record – LRTR 1012 – 2012

Yuichi Hayashi: piano

Morihiro Omura: bass

Yoshitaka Yamashita: drums

Interview with TRISPACE

In Japanese jazz scene, where a strong bond with the stylistic canons of American jazz always prevailed, piano trio TRISPACE represents an exception in its attempt of creating an ideal bridge between Japanese and European jazz.

In particular, the music written by leader and pianist Yuichi Hayashi takes cues from certain sounds coming from northern Europe jazz scene to explore the classic piano trio formula.

A reference also translated on a visual level, given the choice of their cover photos which closely remind the graphic style of renowned German label ECM.

However, the music of TRISPACE never sounds like a slavish revisitation of northern European jazz styles, but possesses an originality of its own which comprises the “Nordic sound” distinguishing peculiarities without imitating it, but drawing inspiration from it to develop a new direction.

In their music, indeed, listeners never meet the austere lyrical elegance of veteran Swedish pianist Bobo Stensson or the languid musical digressions of the piano trio led by Norwegian Tord Gustavsen, but a compositional idea of simple beauty and linear geometry working as a stylistic element which Hayashi transforms in something at the same time refined but enjoyable; enigmatic but accessible.

Performing entirely trough an acoustic set, the compositions written by the leader are based mostly on elegant melodic ideas, slight harmonic progressions (Sincerely, True) or more rhythmically sustained structures (Magic Words, Across The Stars) from which Hayashi takes a hint to create musical solutions even more structured and intriguing.

The lyrical aspect moves way beyond the musical form until reaching visual dimensions as that of cinema (From Now On e Friends) giving birth to the possible soundscapes for imaginary movies.

In the music of TRISPACE is also possible to catch unexpected elements like Bossa Nova (Walk On), though filtered by a personal style which already appeared well-defined in their debut, homonymous album of 2010 and is now confirmed in this second album.

Behind its, only seeming, semplicity, Hayashi’s music-writing hides subtle compositional solutions and prominent aspects which embellish and invigorate the dialogue among the three musicians, making his music the perfect launching pad for further explorations during the live sets.

Despite being written exclusively by the leader, the music closes its circle with the precious support of bassist Morihiro Omura and drummer Yoshitaka Yamashita, which furnishes rhythmical ideas perfectly suited for the nature of the tunes, giving them substance and roundness.

The untitled ghost track at the end of the album, appearing after some seconds of silence after the last track, surprises the listeners in its usage of electronic devices, which were totally banned in the rest of the album. If this represents just an enjoyable divertissèment for the trio or the future echoes of its music course, we only have to wait for the answer in the next TRISPACE’s artistic evolution.