Eddie’s Back on Stage – and I’ll be back shortly

(こちらでは長らく更新しておりませんが、今暫くお待ち下さいませ。。。)

Dear readers – sorry not to get this weblog updated often. It’s been about six months since I put my last article here. I’ve been very busy taking care of my lovely daughter while working at home and I hardly managed to publish articles here. Anyway here I go.

After all these years, one of my best friends and an awesome Hammond organ player Eddie Landsberg is back on stage (on Sunday, March 22, 2009 at the Organ Jazz Club in Numabukuro, Nakano, Tokyo, Japan) with young and talented Japanese sidemen (Kyohei Yamamoto / 山本恭平 on electric guitar, and Kazumasa Oyamada / 小山田和正 on drums). I believe the new Eddie Landsberg Trio has many bright possibilities, although they need some more rehearsals. Definitely this band sounds the best among all the past live sessions by Eddie.

Here are some excerpts of the trio’s live-in-person performance at the Organ Jazz Club (uploaded with permissions by Eddie-san and Yamamoto-san) – enjoy!






(from the first set – that well-known tune composed by Horace Silver)





(from the second set – that well-known tune composed by Joe Zawinul)



And here is the e-mail I sent to Eddie, which includes my impression of that whole live (1st and 2nd sets).

Hi Eddie-san,

Thanks for the great performance you had last night.
Definitely I can say that it was THE BEST performance from you AS A BAND (a “true” band) among all your past gigs I had listened to.
You should keep that guitarist and that drummer in your band.

These two players has a lot of things to contribute to you and to your performance.
They have many varieties of musical sense and arrangements, and ability to do any styles you like to dig. They looked very comfortable when your band played 8 or 16-beat funky rhythms.

The guitar Yamamoto-san played very solid and funky rhythms, while I was also impressed that he played excellent improvisations which was (maybe) influenced by Grant Green style with Kenny Barrell sound timbre. I was also enjoyed and I liked when he played solo with a wah-wah pedal! Definitely he played very solid and never missed a rhythm.

The drummer Oyamada-san really helped you from going too fast (you sometimes did when your feeling went higher and higher). He can do variety of rhythm figures, and he was well listening to other members playing, and instantly adapted rhythm improvisations very well. The only thing I can say is, he sometimes hit too much and he sometimes went out of rhythm against the other two members, but I believe he has a lot of talents and he will be your great, tailour-made rhythm section.

I saw you a little bit nervous on the first tune in the first set. You were singing the first vocal tune without confidence. But as the show went on, I saw you regained the confidence and played/sang better and better. The second set was superb, including encores. I felt that Eddie’s definitely back on stage.

About the song/tune order – in my humble opinion your show will be much better if you seriously construct the order very carefully. Maybe we should learn this from the Funky President James Brown, who did fast-slow-fast-slow, up-down-up-down, good interludes, etc. I think each track you played was basically good, but without good construction and good song order of the show, a beautiful tune like “Over The Rainbow” won’t get to the audience’s heart. The only thing you should do (except more rehearsal to get three tighter) is to find the best construction of song order which gives each tune magical delights – and which brings out fascination of bluesy tunes, bop tunes, ballads, funky tracks, soulful jumpers, bossa nova-like tunes, a mixture of these, etc.

Well, I may have written too much – I am (still) just a music listener of various kinds, and a huge fan of your music. I am not a professional player. I am not a professional music critic. But as a good friend of you and as a fan of your music, I am now writing just what I felt on that night.

Anyway I now say here, I love your trio. I love your organ, Yamamoto-san’s guitar, and Oyamada-san’s drums. Your band will get higher and higher if you think this is your permanent band and play together many times.

Hope to see you again very soon either at Michaux or at my house. And thanks again a lot for yesterday’s live.

Kohji

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