Veteran jazz pianist Fumio Karashima was well-known in Japan for his quick, hard bop style and authentic feel which excited audiences at live concerts and tours as well as on albums. It’s Just Beginning from 2004 is a studio-recorded album with the impulse of a live performance set. Indeed, the tracks were selected by the pianist to showcase the trio and the music performed during a 2003 tour, jazz standards reflecting a passion for genuine jazz with significance to the pianist. Karashima, who spent time with drummer Elvin Jones’ group as well as leading his own trios, gained fans both within Japan and overseas and knows how to deliver a good set, making this an exciting jazz trio album.
High-energy standards include “You And The Night And The Music”, “Mr. P.C.”, and “Un Poco Loco”, Bud Powell’s well-known Afro-Cuban jazz standard. Balancing this energy, Karashima also strikes lyrical, introspective moods, particularly on “Haunted Heart” and “Mother Of Earl”, two songs that Bill Evans famously played and on which Karashima summons Evans’ beautifully sensitive touch. Along with a swinging version of “All Of You”, it definitely feels as if Bill Evans was on the mind.
Three of Karashima’s originals are also included, with a funky Herbie Hancock-esque “Comrade”, a lyrical waltz-time “Rain”, and the title track, straight-ahead modern jazz with invigorating playing.
Leader: Fumio Karashima · 辛島文雄 · http://www.pit-inn.com/karashima/en/
- Fumio Karashima – piano
- Yosuke Inoue – bass
- Shingo Okudaira – drums
Released in 2004 on Pit Inn Music as VACM-1240.
* Audio sample at top of page from “Mr. P.C.”, the fifth track on this album.