Tokuhiro Doi’s Amalthea from 2011 presents a modern jazz quartet from Japan led by the deep, dark, and fantastical tones of jazz clarinet – perhaps a striking difference from the light and bouncy big-band sounds of swing dance music a listener might expect from a clarinet-led group – yet fans of creative and deep modern jazz will be highly satisfied.
Doi’s mature compositions embrace sounds of modern jazz in various settings: mid-tempo walking jazz, energetic and frenetic jazz, and elegiac European classical sounds, with facets of bebop, hard-bop, and cool jazz influences surfacing in the soulful music.
The woody clarinet tone makes the music organically present, breathy and pure, with Doi’s clarinet spinning out long strands of wild jazz improvisation (“Velvet Sun” , “Kids ’24-7′”), cheerfully pleasant poppy jazz (“Off Duty”), as well as deeper, meditatively quiet moments on compositions such as “One Little Spark”, “Euphoria”, and the title track “Amalthea”, which invokes a “Blue In Green” Miles Davis/Bill Evans mood of mysterious calm.
Leader: Tokuhiro Doi · 土井徳浩 · https://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/tokuhirodoi
- Tokuhiro Doi – clarinet
- Koichi Sato – piano
- Yuhei Honkawa – bass
- Tomoyuki Konno – drums
Released in 2011 on D-musica Daiki Music as DMCD-15.
* Audio sample at top of page is an excerpt from “Years”, the opening track on the album.