as picked last week, i’m reviewing Ryo Fukui’s 1976 jazz album Scenery:

a quick note up front – all the tracks here, with the exception of the last track, Scenery, are performances or covers of standards or other tracks. i was unfamiliar with all of them, so i wont be comparing these performances to the originals, but its just a bit of context.

Scenery opens with It Could Happen To You which centers a very lively piano performance, but i really love the bass and drums in the mix, which flank the piano and accent it so so well. you could def get lost in this track. I Want To Talk About You, is more subtle, more intimate – the drums back off a bit, the bass transitions to longer notes, and its nice, its a very pleasant track. Early Summer transitions the energy back up, and brings the drums back up in the balance – even within the first two minutes this track builds some really fun interactions and blending of the performances here. i really like the vibes about 3 and a half minutes in where the song kicks into high gear, the frantic piano playing has the steady bass and the tense drums kind of guiding it down its path. Willow Weep For Me is a real pleasant way to start side B – providing a moment of rest in the same way I Want To Talk About You does. really enjoy the cymbals played over this track, they ebb and flow really well, plus the piano playing here is really fun. Autumn Leaves really gives me mad vibes of Van Morrison’s Moondance in place, its got a great groove to it. looks like this is an extremely popular French jazz standard, and i think this performance is fantastic. Scenery is our closer here, and its a very nice and peaceful ending. a very mellow b-side, all around.

faves – It Could Happen To You
dislikes –

yeah this was extraordinarily pleasant – the instrumental performances here were fantastic, and there was such a fun flow to the record. i thoroughly enjoyed experiencing how the bass and drums would shift and move to support Ryo Fukui’s piano playing, which was fun whether it was energetic and frantic or restrained and thoughtful.

gotta say the mix and mastering here were great. the audio is crisp amd full, and i REALLY enjoyed how the other instruments were kept to either side of the piano  creating a really fun effect of being able to pick them apart mentally, or like you are standing between the musicians. really fun.

Scenery – 6/10

the winner of this week’s suggestion pool is Gogol Bordello’s Super Taranta!, so swing back by next Friday, Apr 8 for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i’m changing some of the process for this – i’m gonna be pooling all suggestions in one place, and drawing a person, then a pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)