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about

“A musical impressionist and supreme colorist” (Hot House Magazine) aptly characterizes the Japanese-born composer Asuka Kakitani. At the forefront of Brooklyn’s burgeoning big band scene, Kakitani has attracted some of New York’s finest jazz artists with her adventurous, melodically charged charts. Asuka was selected as a 2013 DownBeat Critic Poll Rising Star Arranger six months after her 18-piece Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra (AKJO) made a stunning debut with Bloom on Nineteen-Eight Records. The album was featured on the international radio program PRI’s The World, depicting Bloom as “full of complicated harmony . . . but it also makes room for simplicity.” Also Bloom was selected as one of the best debut albums on the 2013 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, All About Jazz, and Lucid Culture. Other accolades include Jazz Wax’s Marc Myers saying “Kakitani and her ideas and pen are the real deal;” while DownBeat Magazine described Bloom as having “sumptuous positivity and organic flow (★★★★);” and All About Jazz called it “absolutely superb.”

The images of nature that are often the inspiration for Kakitani’s works are clearly felt by many of her listeners, including The International Review of Music who illustrates how “Beams of light shimmer and shine while notes take flight.” WEMU’s Linda Yohn continues the imagery with: “Colors, texture and sensations weave in and out of [Kakitani’s] pieces with endless variety – reflective of our natural world.” In addition to her own works on Bloom, Kakitani’s rejuvenation of two Japanese children’s songs are heard as portraying “original ideas and clarity of style” (Jazz Tokyo) filtered through the language of her distinct harmonic and melodic concept which is “luminous, lush and symphonic” (Lucid Culture).

credits

released January 29, 2013

Personnel:

Asuka Kakitani(composer/arranger/conductor)
John O’Gallagher (alto & soprano sax, flute)
Ben Kono (alto & soprano sax, flute)
Jason Rigby (tenor sax, clarinet)
Mark Small (tenor sax, clarinet)
Kenny Berger (baritone sax, bass clarinet)
Jeff Wilfore (trumpet, flugelhorn)
David Spier (trumpet, flugelhorn)
John Bailey (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Matt Holman (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Mark Patterson (trombone)
Matt McDonald (trombone)
Jacob Garchik (trombone)
Jeff Nelson (bass trombone)
Pete McCann (acoustic & electric guitar)
Mike Eckroth (piano, rhodes piano)
Dave Ambrosio (acoustic & electric bass)
Mark Ferber (drums)
Sara Serpa (voice)

Recorded at Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn, New York on June 14th and 15th, 2011 by Michael Marciano
Mixed by Michael Marciano, JC Sanford, and Asuka Kakitani
Mastered by Gene Paul at G&J Audio
Produced by JC Sanford and Asuka Kakitani
Cover photography by Jaime Kahn
Designed by Tom Beckham

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about

Asuka Kakitani

“A musical impressionist and supreme colorist” (Hot House Magazine) aptly characterizes the Japanese-born composer Asuka Kakitani. At the forefront of Brooklyn’s burgeoning big band scene, Kakitani has attracted some of New York’s finest jazz artists with her adventurous, melodically charged charts. ... more

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