Takaaki: New Kid In Town

Pianist Takaaki Otomo leads a fresh sounding trio with Noriko Ueda/b and Jared Schonig/dr through a mix of covers and originals. His touch is optimistically swinging, both modern and traditional on his own pieces as Schonig’s cymbal adds a pulse to Evening Glow” while the team shows deft interplay on the sleek “LullWater.” Takaaki’s touch is bluesy and deft on a prismatic “Django” and relaxed on Thad Jones’ “To You” while “Rush Hour” is a kinetic delight. Most interesting are a couple pieces from Gustav Holst’s The Planets, with “Mars” a staccato’d delight with Schonig’s tom toms and “Venus” rich in ebullience. Impressive opening foray. Is he coming to LA?


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