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Baroque

Junko OnishiAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $12.14 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2010 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2010 $12.14  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Tutti 9:05Album Only
listen  2. The Mother's (Where Johnny Is) 5:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Threepenny Opera19:42Album Only
listen  4. Stardust 4:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Meditations For A Pair Of Wire Cutters10:45Album Only
listen  6. Flamingo 9:48Album Only
listen  7. The Street Beat/52nd Street Theme10:25Album Only
listen  8. Memories Of You 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B003TVMIG6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,647 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2010 release from the Japanese pianist, composer and arranger. Features musical assistance from Nicholas Payton, James Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, Reginald Veal, Rodney Whitaker and Herlin Riley.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted exuberance October 4, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
With all due respect to the previous reviewer, who appears to be a sensitive listener and who also seems legitimately disappointed in this release, I find this album enthralling.

Considering Onishi's role as pianist, it's true that she's less prominent here than on her other recordings. But I take this to be a matter of careful choice on her part.

From the bars of festive percussion that open the album, she's implicitly emphasizing her roll as composer-arranger for a boistrous and highly collaborative ensemble. As such, the piano's place is reduced in scope from its role in Onishi's sizzling trio outings. To assert that the pianist has lost her "sharpness" and clarity is to overlook the achievement that is *Baroque*, her most elaborate and artistically unified release to date.

The spirit of mid-'60s Mingus hovers over all, fueling more than the two direct nods to his work ("Meditations" and "Flamingo"). While it would be unfair to say that melody takes a backseat in Onishi's playing, I would say that she's always been *most* driven by a love of rhythm and dynamics, and that's certainly the case here. As such, the playing that the previous reviewer labels "sickening" repetition strikes me as nothing more than moments of hyper-rhythmic melodic stasis, groove rather than riff.

Onishi's exuberance surges through her own instrument and every member of her top-flight band, which includes three horns and (count 'em) two basses. You can *hear* the joy these players take in giving life to this at-times complicated material, letting loose with flair and reining in tight for every change.

I've been spinning this disc for two or three weeks now, and I keep hearing more. In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend the whole album just for the vision of peppy tenderness that is the opening 90 seconds of "Mother's (Where Johnny Is)". Warms me to the core.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Music February 18, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Presumably whoever is reading this review is on this site because he/she likes jazz and knows that Junko Onishi is one of Japan's most exciting mainstream jazz pianists. For them, I can just say that it is safe to ignore the review of the 1-star reviewer, who must have had too much sake to drink before sitting down to write. Onishi's album Baroque deserves 10 stars. The veteran recording engineer Jim Anderson on a You-tube interview says that the music on this album is as good as anything he's heard in the last 50 years, and after listening to it several times, I can confirm that his statement is plausible. This is really top-notch stuff, way out of the ordinary.

I should point out that Onishi's American all-star band-mates James Carter, Nick Payton, and Wycliffe Gordon, make the album great, even if Onishi were not there. Their solos are consistently brilliant throughout. The other thing to mention is that like all of Onishi's albums, studio or live, this one (studio) is generous. It's full 74 minutes include five extended pieces that will just blow you away. Also, don't worry about the 4-star reviewer's assertion that because the band is a septet, there is less Onishi piano than on her trio albums. Of course. But Onishi is obviously in charge of this band, and includes plenty of her own piano playing on each track. She says on You-tube that she is in the rhythm section, but she is definitely not in the background. Also, don't worry about the 4-star reviewer's feeling that Onishi's piano may not emphasize melody. It's not so. I don't think she is capable of playing her piano without melody, no matter how fast her fingers move.

On to the tracks: "Tutti" , "The Mother's (Where Johnny Is)", and "The ThreePenny Opera" are written by Onishi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Junko Onishi's best? August 25, 2011
Format:Audio CD
While casual fans of jazz may be unfamiliar with pianist and composer Junko Onishi, let me assure you this recording is well worth the time and money. Junko and this all-star group of musicians play with great passion and swing hard on every track. Her skill and sensitivity as a leader shines through. Delightful, stylistic hints of Mingus, Ellington and other jazz icons permeate the music. The engineering by the legendary Jim Anderson is flawless and worthy of the finest home sound systems. Is this Ms. Onishi's best work to date? As a devoted fan who owns all her previous recordings, I'd say it may well be. This is real and uncomprimising jazz; the zenith of a brilliant career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling! February 20, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gorgeous Mingus-like orchestrations and virtuoso piano on every track. James Carter and Wycliffe Gordon make a soulful match for this fabulous pianist/arranger. Swings like mad. I love this album!
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Junko lost sharpness and clearness September 21, 2010
Format:Audio CD
"The Threepenny Opera" has three themes ( Or, two themes and an unaccompanied piano solo ) . The first one is a blues, the second played up-tempo and the third is a cadenza played by Junko based on a musical score by Jaki Byard. I think that Junko's cadenza is no good. Is she playing a joke, a deviation or a homage to Jaki Byard?

Anyway, Junko's play is neither sharp nor clear generally in this album. Did she lose sharpness and clearness? Yes, she did. For instance, the repetitions of same tones (Junko strikes same keys of the piano repeatedly) are sickening and make me feel that Junko's sharpness and clearness were lost, that she used to have.

You can hear Junko strikes same tones repeatedly at 5'58, 6'15 of "Tutti", 4'11, 4'21 of "The Mother's (Where Johnny Is)", 7'10 of "Meditations for a Pair of Wire Cutters". And at 1'39, 1'53 of "G. W" in the album called "Musical Moments".

Only she plays well on Flamingo, The Street Beat / 52nd Street Theme and Memories of You in this album.
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