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Taeko Kunishima

Taeko Kunishima started playing piano at seven. Particularly taken by Mozart and Beethoven, she later studied classical piano performance at university. On hearing Miles Davis for the first time, her direction changed, leading her to explore the music of many different jazz artists, and to develop her own improvisatory technique whilst studying jazz harmony.

Since moving to England, she has continued to evolve and develop her startling, angular contemporary jazz approach, echoing Thelonius Monk and influences of her native Japan. Alongside her work with many UK jazz artists, she has also been working with musicians from many different cultures and countries, and has built up an impressive range of musical partnerships, ranging from Latin pop to electronic music and contemporary classical music. She has performed live sessions on Resonance FM radio. Resonance FM and Jazz FM have both played tracks from her albums Space To Be and Red Dragonfly.

Her debut album as bandleader was Space To Be in 2004 (33Jazz). Now she launches her latest CD, Red Dragonfly, on the 33Jazz label. Following the release of Red Dragonfly, she received favourable reviews, and the band had a warm reception at live performances, including the Isle Of Wight International Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, and the Vortex Jazz Club. In autumn 2006 she completed a UK tour with the help of Jazz Services.

Taeko has performed with Europe's leading Shakuhachi player, Clive Bell, since 2006. Their collaborations have included the London Jazz Festival, a UK tour and the National Theatre. Clive also appears on Taeko's latest CD, Red Dragonfly on the 33Jazz record label.

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Album Reviews
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Album Reviews
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Taeko Kunishima’s third album finds the pianist (born in Shizuoka, Japan, now based in London) in a mood both lyrical and risk-taking. These nine original compositions fully display Taeko’s way with a melody, but this is jazz with a thoroughly contemporary sound.

Opener “To The Hebrides” is a meditative piano solo, quickly followed by the driving riff of “Return To Life”: Paul Moylan’s powerful double bass and Max Hallett’s shoot-from-the-hip drums are united in urgency. Sean Corby’s eloquent trumpet switches from au naturel to electronic psychedelia, while Clive Bell’s shakuhachi flute brings a lurking samurai menace to “Spring Rain” and “Dusk”

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Discography

Space to Be...

Space to Be...

Unknown label
2006

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Red Dragonfly

Red Dragonfly

Unknown label
2006

buy
Return to Life

Return to Life

Taeko Kunishima
Late Autumn

Cold Winter

Cold Winter

Taeko Kunishima
Red Dragonfly

Itsuki no Komoriuta

Itsuki no Komoriuta

Taeko Kunishima
Space to Be...

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