If the eponymous debut album by the Yuko Mabuchi Trio can be seen as a coming out party, it’s hard to imagine the musicians squeezing anything more out of the event. The nearly hour-long set includes some well-known jazz standards, including a gorgeous On Green Dolphin Street and an exuberant romp through Sonny Rollins’ St. Thomas. During a solo piano medley, Mabuchi’s reconstruction of Take the “A” Train displays a fertile imagination and a confident left hand. A sly reading of Sara Bareilles’ Seriously shows Mabuchi’s ability to spot a pop song that translates nicely into the jazz idiom. Her interpretive skills also surface on a composition by TAS music reviewer Mark Lehman, Waltz Noir; here the trio uses a classical composition as a launch pad for some highly evocative noir jazz. If Mabuchi’s playing can be described as tasteful, economical, and lyrical, it should also be noted that her rapid single-note runs are impeccably executed. The performances benefit from an exceptionally realistic recording that stands out for its in-the-room ambience and tonal clarity. So far this year I’ve heard a dozen recordings by piano trios, and Yuko Mabuchi Trio stands up against any of them.
–Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound
Yuko Mabuchi Trio; Yuko Mabuchi piano, Bobby Breton drums, and Del Atkins bass;
Yarlung Records 80161 CD, pressed in Germany on high definition special composite materials.
Available in PCM and DSD on HDTracks and NativeDSD up to 256DSD. Release date: October 6, 2017.
Recorded before a live audience at the Brain and Creativity Institute’s Cammilleri Hall.
Yuko Mabuchi plays a Steinway Piano.
Technical Information for the Audiophile:
Recorded in stereo on analog tape, and in 256DSD
One AKG C-24 Tube Stereo Microphone and two Schoeps M222 tube microphones from Ancona Audio and a Bock 5ZERO7 microphone. An Elliot Midwood tube microphone preamp fed the signal to a SonoruS ATR12 analog tape recorder using SonoruS Holographic Imaging Technology. A Merging Technologies Hapi converter recording 256DSD using Pyramix software was fed a separate signal from the microphone preamp.
5 Channel Surround sound:
Yarlung recording engineer Tom Caulfield recorded 5 Channel Surround Sound using three DPA 4041SP and two DPA 4006A microphones fed directly into Merging Technology Hapi converter to record in 256DSD.
Go to yarlungrecords.com for links to DSD downloads in stereo and surround sound.