Born: September 21 Primary Instrument: Piano
Atzko was born and raised in Japan and currently resides in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She studied classical piano from an early age and opened her eyes to jazz in her early teens. She is a self-taught jazz pianist. As a college student in Keio University, Tokyo, she was an active member of the jazz big band, Keio Light Music Society. After graduation she appeared in jazz clubs in Tokyo, gigging in quintets and eventually formed her own piano trio.
From 1994 to 2001, Atzko lived in New York, where she learned from jazz master Steve Kuhn. Her music was influenced by this association. After Atzko moved back to Japan, she performed in live gigs in jazz clubs in the Tokyo metropolitan area. She also has composed music for C.G. animation for children and radio drama, and arranged the jazz music for the piano-violin duo, Rosco.
In 2005, she moved to Amsterdam, and released her first album Amstel Delight (PJL), playing with her longtime partners in Japan. Her second album ‘Amstel Moments’ (BJL), playing Duo with Dutch bassist Frans van der Hoeven, was released in April, 2009. In November, 2009, she made a live recording at Body & Soul/Tokyo with Yosuke Inoue, a highly acclaimed Japanese bassist, and the album ‘Turnaround’ (What’s New Records) was released in December, 2010.
Atzko also works as a writer, and her work includes the interview with Helene LaFaro Fernandez; talking about my brother, Scott LaFaro, and a monthly column ‘Amsterdam Report’ on a web magazine for Japanese jazz lovers. Her another noteworthy work as a translator includes; translation of Dads and Daughters (Nikkei BP, 2003), co-translation of 100 Procent Lena (Nikkei BP, 2008), co-Japanese-subtitling of the DVD, A Life Devoted to Art/Vincent van Gogh (Van Gogh Museum, 2010) and Getekend: Fiep Westendorp (Fiep Amsterdam BV, 2010).
“Japanese jazz pianist Atzko Kohashi, who is self-taught but also took lessons from Steve Kuhn, is in love with Amsterdam. While she was successful in her home country and even spent seven years in the jazz Mecca New York, she waxes lyrical about the musical climate in Amsterdam in her interviews and the liner notes to her latest CD 'Amstel Moments'. Atzko enjoys the freedom and tolerance, the candor and down-to-earth mentality that permeate life in 'Mokum', the Dutch capital. Perhaps that's why she called her debut album 'Amstel Delight'. Yet it is part coincidence that she took root in the fertile Dutch musical soil. She arrived here as an expat together with her husband, who was posted to Amsterdam. So we can only wait and see how much longer we'll be able to enjoy Atzko live at the Bimhuis. That's why it was a good choice that she recorded her music. An even better choice was that she engaged bassist Frans van der Hoeven, who is well known in jazz circles and selected a superb recording studio. The mastering of 'Amstel Moments' is also agreeably warm. This has worked wonders for the meandering, resolute play of Atzko in the style of Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, and for the rounded out sound of Frans' bass. You won't hear the bustle of the city with Kohashi, as her own compositions and interpretations of less well known American repertoire exude a delightful serenity. Atzko plays with a mellowed maturity and a deep passion for piano jazz, possibly betraying a profound connection to Zen Buddhism. (Jazzflits.nl- 9 Nov 2009)
Natural, Warm, Human; The melody of life abroad from Atzko Kohashi (The Holland Times September 2009)
Atzko Kohashi releases her new CD in a fantastic style we know from Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. This is a definite 'must hear', an album that will grow on you. A wonderful interplay between the piano, played by Atzko, and the bassist Frans van der Hoeven. (Concerto.nl, Sep 2009)
Including their repertoire on the CD “Amstel Moments,” the duo by Atzko Kohashi and Frans van der Hoeven sounds open-minded and heart-to-heart, being neither stylish nor superficial. It's pleasant but still very thoughtful. “ (Music Magazine/Japan, May 2009)
”The duo played by Atzko Kohashi and Frans van der Hoeven has an aesthetic restraint, being neither too much nor too little, which seems something common with Zen philosophy.” (Swing Journal/Japan, May 2009)
Amazing interpretation on Don't Explain within just 4 minute 23 second!! It's very thoughtful and artistic, giving us a feeling of dialogue beneath it. ( M.Goto/ Jazz critic, June 2009)
Amstel Moments / Atzko Kohashi meets Frans van der Hoeven
Tracks: 01. No Lonely Nights (Keith Jarrett) 02. 502 Blues / Drinking & Driving (Jimmy Rawles) 03. Don't Explain (Billie Holiday) 04. Delft in Blue (Atzko Kohashi) 05. I Should Care (S. Cahn, A. Stordahl, Paul Weston) 06. Soul Eyes (Mal Waldron) + Luiza (A. C.Jobim) 07. Little B's Poem (Bobby Hutcherson) 08. G.N.G.U. (Atzko Kohashi) 09. One I could Have Loved (Gary McFarland) 10. M.O.M.O.(Atzko Kohashi) 11. As Long As There’s Music (Jule Styne) 12. Turnaround (Ornette Coleman)
Personnel: Atzko Kohashi(piano), Frans van der Hoeven (bass)
As a Leader
Amstel Delight / Atzko Trio
Tracks: 01.The Touch of Your Lips 02.Baubles, Bangles and Beads 03.Amstel Delight 04.G.N.G.U. 05.Blame It on My Youth 06.Star Eyes 07.A.F.L. 08.It's Mine 09.Never Let Me Go 10.Rendezvous in Omote-sando 11.I'll Be Seeing You 12.Amstel Delight －alternate
Personnel: Atzko Kohashi(piano), Shin Kasugai(bass), Ken Murata(drums)
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