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Thursday, June 21, 2007
MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL IN NOTO
Soundtrack of the summer: Yosuke Yamashita
Known for almost 40 years for his bass-less, eponymous trio and half that time for his New York Trio, pianist Yosuke Yamashita offers listeners a change by bringing his New Quartet to Noto. Yamashita, 67, will play with bassist Akira Yanagihara, alto saxophonist Yuya Yoneda and drummer Takumi Ogasawara, all 20-somethings with whom he formed the quartet in 2005. Though Yamashita has played a wide range of genres, including original compositions influenced by Japanese themes and George Gershwin, the quartet plays mostly free jazz, his musical core. Expect a high-energy show, especially from Yamashita, who is known to leap out of his seat during piano solos. His piano and Yoneda's sax take on main solo duties in Yamashita's arrangements — a good choice, as Yoneda is a talented improviser. The excitement, unpredictability, and whimsicality of the quartet make this the jazz gig of the summer.
Also check out: Violinist Naoko Terai and swing vocalist Banu Gibson.
The setting: A seaside park crowded with about 2,500 people who sit on the grass or in lawn chairs with the ocean forming a natural backdrop to the stage — a relaxing way to listen to jazz on a summer day.
When/where: July 28; gates open at 1:30 p.m. Nanao Marine Park, Nanao City, on Noto Peninsula, in Ishikawa Prefecture. Nanao is the sister city of Monterey, Calif., which hosts its 50th Monterey Jazz Festival this year. Tickets are 5,000 yen in advance; 6,000 yen at the door. There is no reserved seating. Tel: (0767) 54-8820. www.noto.or.jp/monterey-jazz/index.html