Unconditional Love is the 11th album from pianist Hideaki Hori, and features his trio playing live at Nardis, a reputable, intimate jazz bar in Tokyo. It’s clear throughout that the trio is dedicated to capturing the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that this home ground bar provides, all while creating top-notch jazz to delight the audience.
The two sets consist of songs recorded live over three consecutive nights at Nardis, presented on the discs as “1st set” and “2nd set”, giving the listener the feel of joining the audience in-house from the first song to the encore. Needless to say, the long-established trio’s playing is impeccable, reaching high levels of musicianship and synergy, eliciting joy and affinity from the audience.
The dozen songs on the album include four originals by Hori (the funky “The Shell” and high energy of “Stop & Go” thrilling the audience), some classic standards (“Up Jumped Spring”, “I Thought About You”, “My Favorite Things”) and choice modern jazz picks from the likes of Cedar Walton, Keith Jarrett, and John Ellis (his “Bonus Round” is a special treat). Through these carefully-chosen pieces the performance breathes with dynamics ranging from comfortable, mid-tempo swing, to fiery, up-tempo bop. For balance and breathing space, a few pretty ballads are included, such as a fascinating version of Keith Jarrett’s “Blossom” which enraptures the club with a musical spell.
Leader: Hideaki Hori · 堀秀彰 · http://horinky.withmusic.jp
- Hideaki Hori – piano
- Yuhei Honkawa – bass
- Gaku Hasegawa – drums
Released in 2014 on BQ Records as BQR-2064/2065.
* Audio sample at top of page of “Our Love Is Here To Stay” from this album.