JAZU: Jazz from Japan. Review. Yosuke Nagayama. Start PDF Stampa E-mail
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Lunedì 29 Novembre 2021 00:00


JAZU: Jazz from Japan. Review. Yosuke Nagayama. Start

YNM - 0001 - 2021

Yosuke Nagayama: drums
Noah McNeil: piano
Yoshiki Yamada: upright bass


In this debut work of drummer Yosuke Nagayama the concept of "start" can take different shapes. In the first place it reveals the intention of the drummer to break free from the limiting role of sideman, that until today had seen him featured on multiple and fruitful collaborations both in Japan and United States, to embark on a path as a leader in which this time was his vision of music to come to light and move its first, free steps.
His artistic journey, like in a gestatory phase, has brought his music to absorb the countless influences that have been coming from the outside in order to reach a form of his own, original and unique.
The idea of "start", or "moving toward something" is also inside his compositions because of their ability to offer to the listeners the sensation of a mechanism slowly beginning to spin until reaching its regular motion.
This is what happens in Start as it begins with some piano chords joined soon after by the drum to sustain a melody that at its appearance closes the cicle of the main theme: the whole seems to translate in music the lazy and gradual act of awakening that we perform each morning when a new day commences.
The composition qualities of Nagayama are confirmed in Above The Clouds where the rhythmic fantasy and the impressionism of his drums produce brushstrokes of sound that reveal charisma and straight overall view on his music.
The stride of an old clock, instead, seems to have inspired The Message, a piece of elegant workmanship sustained by the solid scansion of Yamada's bass and counterpointed by the melancholic notes of McNeil, here in quality of signer of the composition.
New Job, at the same time, leans on a reiterated gear that seems to suddenly break up in some points creating suspensions of time overlooking on bottomless abysses.
Timing is enriched with unexpected accelerations in the theme of Flight whose following swing modulation has its roots in a most traditional jazz pulse. The latter is a concept latent in the remaining part of the tracks crossed, as they are, by modern attitude and curious eyes toward new music horizons that cleverly and subtly embellish the warp woven by the leader.
Through the folds of Nagayama's compositions, coherently supported in his stylistic intentions by Yamada's robust King's Road and abovementioned The Message and Flight by McNeil, seems to hover a wider idea of "beginning": a desire to restart to which the leader is longing - like all of us, stricken by the same, devious, evil - to leave behind the recent dark times, enlightening them with an artistic expression that represents one of our possible vital impetuses.
This first work as a leader undoubtly succeeds in tracing a tangible image of Nagayama's music identity as a man and musician, representing - let's say it again - a worthy start of a valuable artistic path.

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