CJR-1213, 60:28, www.cadencebuilding.com
Dulin on the web
Remembering Take Toriyama www.yoshiwaki.net/take/index.html
review by Craig Nixon
likes to take things apart. And put them back together again. That's just
what the Kansas City born pianist does with several standards on his debut
recording for Cadence Jazz. Dulin applies his skillful compositional hand
to "de-rangements" of "On Green Dolphin Street," "Stella
By Starlight," "I'll Remember April" and "Softly, As In
A Morning Sunrise," making them over into compositions that are wholly
his own. These all-too-common Real Book tunes form a springboard for the pianist's
original charts, all but obscuring the original changes. Dulin and bandmates
bassist Danny Zanker and drummer Take Toriyama fairly eat up the pianist's
tunes, some of which are fiendishly difficult.
Don't let the
de-ranged standards fool you; this is not a cookie-cutter, "Young Lions"
conservative trio date. The Disband is an incredibly tight, cohesive unit
that clearly has fun navigating Dulin's tunes, most of which are complex,
all of which are seriously swinging. "Stingray," a re-invention
of "On Green Dolphin Street," kicks things off on a high note. Over
Toriyama's stuttering funk beat Dulin reels off a choppy 16th note line that
never repeats itself, much like a funk-infused Lennie Tristano. Toriyama's
solo exchanges are as funky as they are inventive. In fact, and I think George
Dulin would agree, much of the distinctive sound of the trio stems from the
drummer's unique approach. Take simultaneously melds jazz swing, funk, rock
chops, and avant garde inventiveness into one singular and individual sound
that could range from swinging to slamming.
Texas born bassist
Danny Zanker is a fine anchor for the group. With a big sound, excellent intonation
and facility to spare, his several solo turns are impressive beginning with
the first track. The pianist himself manages to avoid cliché by assimilating
his influences, rather than aping them. Several quick nods to Don Pullen here
and there form a blink of an eye tribute to a late master, and some of Dulin's
long, fluid fast lines recall the dexterity of Kenny Werner. Two anagram-titled
pieces, "Cerebral Dongnosh" (Arnold Schoenberg) and "Johnsugar
VII" (Dulin's associate, fiery young saxophonist Joshua Irving) suggest
Dulin has heard the Russian pianist Simon Nabatov.
Two Monk pieces,
"Round Midnight" and "Monk's Mood", are the only non-originals
here. These are not deconstructed as with Dulin's originals based on standard
forms, but played relatively straight, or as straight as a 5/4 "Monk's
Mood" can be. New York drummer Jordan Perlson is in for two tracks that
were recorded at a later session that served as the pianist's entry demo for
the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
at an un-named New York studio (with a good piano, to boot), Ride of Your
Life is an impressive debut from an artist that we're sure to hear more
of in the future.
this disc could see release Take Toriyama passed away at the age of 38. Having
seen some measure of success as a rock drummer in his native Japan with 20th
Century Junior, Toriyama came to the states seeking more creative opportunity.
He played with a raft of jazz masters, and also imbedded himself in the Brooklyn-based
avant garde scene. Well respected, and loved by many, his creative fiery playing
on this date is a fitting remembrance of a highly individual voice that was
silenced much too early.