Ayumi Koketsu: Rainbow Tales

Saxophonist Ayumi Koketsu creates exciting modern jazz on Rainbow Tales from 2012, her third album as a leader, where she leads of group of accomplished Norwegian musicians.

The session was beautifully recorded at the famous Rainbow Studios in Oslo, where the modern European-label ECM sound influences the recording under Koketsu’s leadership and virtuosity. With crystal clear sax and cymbals riding above warm, full piano and deep wood bass, the influence is evident, especially noticeable on “Mikazuki” (Crescent Moon), a folk/rock-like tune reminiscent of a Keith Jarrett style .

The album contains a nice balance of eleven songs with three swinging originals from Koketsu and other jazz standards including a lovely “Bewitched”, a driving “Summertime”, a Paul Desmond-like “When Joanna Loved Me” and others from Lennie Tristano (“Two Not One”) and Ornette Coleman (“Bird Food”). Throughout, Koketsu’s versatile bop playing proves her worth at improvisation, along with exquisite modern solos from the pianist and a sharp rhythm section elevating the sound and color spectrum.

Leader: Ayumi Koketsu · 纐纈歩美 · http://a-koketsu.com


  • Ayumi Koketsu – alto sax
  • Svein Olav Herstad – piano
  • Magne Thormodsaeter – bass
  • Per Oddvar Johansen – drums


Released 2012 on Pony Canyon MYCJ-30620.


Here is another track from the album, Lennie Tristano’s “Two Not One” (performed here with Ayumi Koketsu in a different group):


Ayumi Koketsu’s song “Near The Clouds” is also on this album, performed here in a duo setting with a guitarist:


* The audio sample at the top of this page is “With May”, an original tune from Koketsu which opens this album.