Friday, June 15, 2012

Get to Know: Erena Terakubo

Just heard an amazing disc from a new young alto sax player, Erena Terakubo, age 20! The disc is "Erena Terakubo with Legends: New York Attitude (4Q Records, under license from King Records of Japan,  2011). According to the little I found on her, she is a native of Japan who began jazz at an early age, did master classes with visiting jazz players at home, attended a Berklee summer program, and then in 2009 started at Berklee as a full time jazz student.

She sounds great, has a nice lively tone and seemingly plays effortlessly, and on top of that wrote two of the 10 songs on this disc. Most importantly perhaps is the veterans who have chosen to play with her, an indication of what they think of this young talent. there is Kenny Barron on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Lee Pearson on drums, anyone's idea of a top notch piano trio. In addition, on three of the songs they are joined by another young and upcoming star, Dominick Farinacci, on trumpet, whose mellow burnished sound (and his looks) have drawn comparisons to Chet Baker.

Together this is a really outstanding combo, and from the first song, Barron's New York Attitude, the music is upbeat, in the pocket, and great to listen to. Star Eyes is taken at a pretty quick tempo and Terakubo shines both at the head and during her improvisations. Barron as always is smooth and creative.

I think anyone looking for one of the next great players should try this one out. If you like stright ahead jazz played with verve, this is your ticket.

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