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Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio What A Wonderful Trio!

Label: Lasting Impression Music, LIM DXD 079
Details: disc made of 99,9999% silver, reissue
Released: 2008
Sound director: Yoshihiko Kanari
Producer: Winston Ma, Takeshi Tee Fujii, TBM
Recording place: 1st Studio, Onkyo Haus, Tokio, Japonia
Date of recording: Jun 6th 2008

Format: silver-CD (DXD)

Text: Wojciech Pacuła
Translation: Marek Dyba

Track list::

1. Another Holiday
2. Stardust
3. Happy Soccer Striker
4. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
5. Autumn Leaves
6. Sunflower (solo)
7. Slow Blues
8. Obsession
9. Dark Eyes


Tsuyoshi Yamamoto: piano
Hiroshi Kagawa: bass
Toshio Osumi: drums

Cooperation between Winston Ma, owner of First Impression Music, and a pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto started long before they met face to face. Mr Ma was a distributor of TBM recordings in the late seventies in Hong Kong. TBM's most valuable items at the time were three records – all by Tsuyoshi Yamamoto: Misty, Midnight Sugar and Girl Talk (you can find reviews in LP 45 rpm versions HERE and HERE). Winston Ma simply loved those records. Mr Ma's dream, since he started FIM, own recording of Yamamoto's band, came true only in 2001 with help of Mr Takeshi Tee Fujii, owner of TBM, who cooperated with FIM on the projects realized in JVC's studios. Recording session took place on Dec 23rd 2001 in Onkyo Haus studio in Tokyo. One of the Yamamoto's compositions for this record was written specially for Winston Ma, it was called: Autumn In Seattle, and it became a title of the whole album. This record issued as XRCD24 and later also on SACD format, makes a great example, how contemporary jazz, maybe with no ambitions to go outside classic jazz idiom, can still function nowadays. It turned out that it wasn't the single “golden” shot.. Seven years later FIM managed to invite Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio for another recording session. This time the leader wrote three new pieces! This session was very challenging from technical point of view, because for the first time in recording industry's history sound was registered in three different formats at the same time: on analogue tape (38 cm/s), on hard drive in 24/192 format (Pro Tools) and newly developed DXD (24/352,8). Bruce Brown of Puget Sound Studio came from Seattle to Japan bringing equipment necessary to record DXD version. Still this year we are expecting vinyl version to be released, but for the CD version they have unanimously chosen DXD recording. Check the booklet to find pictures of instrument placing, information on microphones used (two Neumanns U-67 for the piano) and some photos taken during the session.


Tsuyoshi Yamamoto is one of my favorite jazz piano players. Not everybody shares my opinion because of Tsuyoshi's own, characteristic style that is not accepted by everyone. In my opinion though it is a beautiful play with depth, emotions and feeling. All the records of Yamamoto's band recorded during his cooperation with legendary Three Blind Mice label are masterpieces. This recording is no exception. The pianist is a personal friend of Mr Ma which explains great communication between those gentlemen. I think that if What A Wonderful Trio! had been recorded by TBM, it would have been its top achievement. I was delighted with its almost unlimited dynamics and perfect resolution. It sounded like 45 rpm vinyl! Cymbals are subtle but greatly differentiated. Same goes for the bass. Piano presents full scale of shades and when needed goes really low. The sound stage is outstanding – deep, with great spacing, absolutely no harshness and all that still smooth sound and no hardness of the attack. What we can hear is mostly source acoustics, only occasionally “tweaked” with the reverb (beginning of the track 4 for example). Sound is very natural and reminds a live experience.

Sound quality: REFERENCE

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