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Live In New York, Magenta by Tsuyoshi Furuhashi

Tenor saxophonist, flutist and composer Tsuyoshi Furuhashi was born in Mitocity, Japan. His background includes study with Takeru Muraoka and winning an award at the Maizuru Redbrick Jazz Festival. Furuhashi’s been featured in Jazzlife Magazine and the newspaper El Diario. This recording, Live In New York, Magenta, was made live at The Stone in New York City on September 12, 2009.

This concert brings together Furuhashi’s band in a set of three originals and a group free-jazz closer. The opening number, "Magenta," incorporates brilliant hard bop blowing and features a terrific solo by pianist Trevor Lagrange. The band is truly of one mind as they negotiate the harmonic changes with deft, but light, brilliance. Furuhashi is a solidly grounded and well-schooled artist whose use of phrase and line places him solidly within the mainstream.

The entire mood changes with the next composition, "Nord." This open-ended free-rubato-timed piece features the leader on flute and saxophone. His playing is subtle, and the band follows him closely. Their clever interplay is not stilted, but the band reacts to more than participates with the leader.

A swing ballad, "Changing The Time Spiral," features bassist Shanir Ezra Blmenkranz. His playing is exquisite. His solo is firmly locked in the changes yet he plays lines so pretty it’s hard to believe he’s following any muse but his own. Lagrange’s light pointillistic harmonic fills color the edges of Blmenkranz’s solo perfectly. Their interplay is of special note to all would be jazz rhythm section performers as a prime example of resplendent cooperation. Furuhashi’s melancholy tenor playing sets the right mood, and the entire ensemble responds.

The disc closes with material that would not be out of place on an early John Klemmer avant-garde inspired album. Furuhashi uses extended extramusical saxophone techniques, the band plays with a fervor inspired by fire, and while the result is not always concentrated and focused during the entire 15 minutes, it is interesting to listen to them negotiate the way.

The problem with this disc is the recording quality. Without the use of microphones placed on individual instruments the sound is cavernous and the clarity and overall musical effect is severely compromised.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tsuyoshi Furuhashi
  • CD Title: Live In New York, Magenta
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: Green Lights
  • Tracks: Magenta, Nord, Changing Time Spiral and The Source
  • Musicians: Tsuyoshi Furuhasi (tenor sax, flute), Trevor Lagrange (piano), Shanir Ezra Blmenkranz (bass), Reggie Nicolson (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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