Taeko Fukao: CD Release

Taeko Fukao: CD Release Party at the Kitano Hotel.

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Vocalist Taeko Fukao celebrated her new album, One Love at the Kitano Hotel on June 4, 2008.   A good crowd turned out for the event.  Taeko was wearing a beautiful dress: a beige mesh over satin.  The singer, who has a very appealing voice, made it to the final 12 of the Jazzmobile Vocal Competition this year, and she works well with her trio of outstanding jazz musicians.

The Kitano has a nice space to hear live jazz, and there is no cover for their weeknight performances (held on Wednesdays and Thursdays).   The second set opened with an instrumental number, written by Taeko’s Russian pianist, Misha Tsiganov.  Besides being an excellent accompanist, he is very adept at playing with a trio.  This was followed by the standard, “It Could Happen to You,” one of the songs on Taeko’s CD.  The well-written arrangement had Taeko singing with a professional ease, her scatting and variations of phrasing the melody uniquely hers.

“Would You Believe?” is an original tune by drummer Doug Richardson.  It was done with a bossa-nova beat, and at one point Doug stepped away from the drums, and picked up the melodica for an interesting addition to the music.   Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar” was a feature for bassist Gaku Taganashi, and it began as a duo with bass and voice.  Gaku showed expertise on the double bass, playing some intriguing lines.   “Trav’lin’ Light” is a gorgeous ballad, written by Jimmy Mundy, Johnny Mercer and Trummy Young, and it was one of my favorites of Taeko’s. She leaned back and closed her eyes every time she held a long note, taking the audience with her to a more relaxed place.
The set ended with Taeko’s break tune One Love, where she introduced each musician while he soloed.  She has an honest-sounding voice, a good range, and was a pleasure to hear.  Let’s wish the Kitano continued success in its programming of jazz vocalists.

 

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More information on the singer at  www.songbirdtaeko.com

Listen to samples of the CD at  www.cdbaby.com/cd/taeko

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