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ERI YAMAMOTO/BIO
Since moving to the United States in 1995, Eri Yamamoto has established herself as one of jazz's most original and compelling pianists and composers. Jazz legend Herbie Hancock has said, “My hat's off to her… already she's found her own voice.” The Eri Yamamoto Trio, with its unique sound and repertoire, has built a strong following in New York, and has made recent tours of the UK, Wales, Spain, and Japan, with appearances at such major festivals as Cheltenham, England; Terrassa,Spain; and Shiga, Japan. Eri has also been collaborating with such creative and celebrated musicians as William Parker, Daniel Carter, Hamid Drake, and Federico Ughi, all of whom are featured on her fifth CD, Duologue, a duo recording recently released on AUM Fidelity. 
Eri was born in Osaka, Japan, and began playing classical piano at age three. She started composing when only eight years old, and studied voice, viola, and composition through her high school and college years. In 1995, she visited New York for the first time, and by chance heard Tommy Flanagan performing. She was so inspired by her first experience of a jazz piano trio that she decided on the spot to move to New York and dedicate herself to learning jazz.Later that year, Eri entered the New School University's prestigious jazz program, where she studied with Junior Mance, LeeAnn Ledgerwood, and Reggie Workman. In 1999, while still in school, she started playing regularly at the Avenue B Social Club, a popular spot among jazz musicians in the East Village. There she developed a musical friendship with fellow pianist Matthew Shipp.
Since 2000, Eri's trio has been appearing regularly at Arthur's Tavern, a historic jazz club in New York's Greenwich Village. In addition to its European tours it has recently performed at the Hartford Jazz Festival and An Die Musik in Baltimore. The Trio features Dave Ambrosio and Ikuo Takeuchi, and its New CD, Redwoods is released this September on AUM Fidelity.
Eri has recently appeared on two William Parker recordings, Luc's Lantern and Corn Meal Dance, and has performed in Italy, Holland, Norway and
Tunisia with his trio and sextet. She has also worked with such musical luminaries as Ron McClure, Andy McKee, Lewis Barns, Rob Brown, Leena Conquest, Arthur Kell, Kevin Tkacs, Whit Dicky, Christopher Dean Sullivan and Michael T. A. Thompson.

ERI YAMAMOTO/QUOTES

It almost sounds like she had no jazz training before she came here(New York) four years ago. 
how is that possible?  Wow.  I don’t know how anyone could get to this level in such a short period of time,
but my hat’s off to her.  It certainly took me longer than that.  This is her
tune, so that means that she can write, too. 
This is just the beginning,and already she’s found her own voice.                                                        ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ ---Herbie Hancock
“Yamamoto’s maturity is instantly evident on the title cut/opener of Up & Coming, her self-produced debut…
The five originals included here
demonstrate an extraordinarily rich compositional sensibility – to say nothing of a delicate touch.”                                                                                                                   ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■---Time Out New York
“As the denizens of Arthur’s Tavern in Greenwich Village undoubtedly know,
pianist Eri Yamamoto is one of jazz’s most dynamic new talents.

Her compositional style augments her deft, inventive playing.”
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ --- All About Jazz New York
“Her pulsating piano, with it’s insistent rhythms, soon won over her audience
as she launched into a couple of her own compositions.”
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■--- Gloucestershire BBC Radio
“Eri has become a fixture in the jazz world…
She has collaborated with some of the finest musicians in the field and has recorded several of
her own solojazz recordings and toured extensively with her own groups.
She fully understands the traditions of jazz and is adept at playing her own fine compositions
as well as bringing her own interpretations to the jazz standards.”
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
--- Ron McClure
“Her style is very fresh and very original, and her mysterious, simple melody is
Indicative of how talented she is.  Besides her originals she plays standards
Very well and she already has her own personal expression. “
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
--- Swing Journal, Japan
Reviews
Reviews –.Redwoods
DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY
""This is an Apple" opens with a bright, sunny, yet gospelish melody. I dig the way the bass and piano solos are an extension of that righteous melody. Eri seems to have a knack for writing winning songs that are a delight to hear again and again. I find myself humming along each time I play this disc. Wouldn't it be nice to hear this disc on that 24 hour (jive) jazz station on the left end of your dial instead of the all those lame singers that they force on us? You bet it would, but I wouldn't hold my breath. ..((.."

ALL ABOUT JAZZ NY MAGAZINE
"Whilst this group works a quiet, perhaps unassuming musical seam, it does it with a sufficient grasp of variation and color to hold the attention and draw the listener in at the expense of the cares of the world. "
"With such vibrant portrayals, this disc affirms Yamamoto's place as a rising talent in the pianistic pantheon."

 

Reviews – Duologue...(AUM048)

ALL ABOUT JAZZ #1: “It's clear from note one here that Eri Yamamoto is staking out her own pianistic territory and it's a privilege to be able to monitor her progress on her artistic journey.” allaboutjazz


ALL ABOUT JAZZ #2: “Let's agree that pianist Eri Yamamoto's days of being described as a talent deserving wider recognition are now over. With Duologue, she now takes her rightful place as a headliner and leader.” allaboutjazz


ALL ABOUT JAZZ #3: “A high-end eloquence fills Duologue. Discovering its effusive splendor is worth more than anyone could anticipate.”allaboutjazz


ALL ABOUT JAZZ #4: “Duologue is characterized by lovely songcraft and guileless performances and is a perfect showcase for Yamamoto's dense, impressionistic cascades and dazzling romantic swoon..”allaboutjazz


ALL ABOUT JAZZ #5:

Notwithstanding the avant garde roster, Duologue is a richly melodic and rhythmically delightful set. On this showing, Yamamoto's name will soon be the only one you  need to see on the marquee to guarantee quality.

By John Sharpe   allaboutjazz


THE WIRE (Review in July issue, on stands now):“.. she’s an expressively versatile pianist with a knack for gradually evolving harmonies rather than hectic development of material.”


OTHER MUSIC: OTHER MUSIC NEWSLETTER / SITE“Great new jazz record alert!! .. it feels wide and expansive, calming and tranquil.  A wonderful listen from start to finish.”


ALL MUSIC GUIDE: “4 Star Review” Her ultra-melodic style is well executed and realized on this very enjoyable CD that has universal appeal, crossing contemporary, progressive, and modern creative genres. There's simplicity and light emphasized, but depth and substance are never far behind in the intelligent constructs of Yamamoto's playing .. This is an often wondrous, highly listenable, and tasteful musical offering that is easily recommended.

allmusic.


Master Class at Tunis University in Tunis, Tunisia April 12th, 2008
Savoir chanter, c’est sacré
•Les master classes, renforcés cette année grâce à la coopération de l’ISM de Tunis, consolident une meilleure pratique du jazz, renforcent les liens d’amitié avec des artistes chevronnés et contribuent au nécessaire rapprochement des cultures, absolument indispensable dans le dialogue interculturel.

L’Institut supérieur de musique de Tunis a ouvert, samedi dernier, le cycle des master classes consacré à la pratique du jazz, cette belle musique afro-américaine, créée au début du XXe siècle par les communautés noires du Sud des Etats-Unis. Cet atelier est animé par la Japonaise Eri Yamamoto au piano, Lewis Barnes à la trompette et Leena Conquest au chant. Un trio venu des Etats-Unis, dans le cadre de la 4e édition de Jazz à Carthage by Tunisiana, et dont le rôle se limite uniquement au master class.
Il n’y avait pas que des étudiants dans la grande salle des répétitions de l’Institut. La présence de professeurs était à ce titre assez significative et motivante, en ce sens qu’elle visait à expliquer et à faire admettre à ces jeunes passionnés de musique qu’il s’agit là d’un art exigeant qui demande une continuelle remise en question de ses propres expériences, une volonté délibérée d’être à l’écoute de ce qui se fait de mieux en matière musicale.
Une vingtaine d’étudiants inscrits en deuxième année de maîtrise ou en mastère, encadrés par le trompettiste, la pianiste et le professeur de chant, étaient également suivis et observés attentivement par Sonia M’barek, Alya Sellami et M’hamed-Ali Camoun, leurs professeurs.
Dans ce charivari où une certaine mélodie musicale n’était point absente, le trio de professionnels intervenait sans cesse pour donner son avis sur le jeu ou le chant, placer un conseil, exhorter tel ou tel étudiant à améliorer sa méthode expérimentaleUn atelier libérateur d’énergie

Sonia M’barek, enseignante à l’ISM, a bien voulu nous confier ses impressions: «L’ISM est associé avec Jazz à Carthage qui est à féliciter pour ces incontournables master classes. Nos étudiants sont invités tout au long de ces huit journées à confronter leur expérience  face à de véritables professionnels. Cela est d’autant plus louable et méritoire que ces rencontres constituent pour eux une occasion rêvée de développer l’étendue de leurs connaissances. L’ISM, poursuit Sonia M’barek, a le souci d’assurer une polyvalence, une certaine aptitude à ces jeunes étudiants qui les prédisposerait à avoir une possibilité dans le choix de la spécialisation. Il existe deux voies: l’art oriental et les études en art scénique. Nous attachons beaucoup d’intérêt à cette expérience inédite qui est en tout point salutaire et bénéfique».
Alya Sellami, célèbre chanteuse lyrique et professeur à l’ISM,était présente pour observer la technique du chant de ses élèves, juger leur performance et estimer leur valeur. A ce sujet, elle nous déclare : «J’approuve entièrement ce projets de master classes qui contribuent au développement de l’excellente musique au contact d’excellents professionnels et incitent nos élèves à s’essayer à l’improvisation vocale. Je fais une initiation au jazz avec M’hamed Ali Camoun, pianiste et compositeur d’envergure. J’assure la classe Art lyrique et scénique, nos élèves sont impliqués dans quatre types de chansons : jazz, musique orientale, opéra et improvisation contemporaine. Certains de mes élèves sont doués et ouverts à toutes les disciplines. J’admire ce que fait mon collègue Camoun qui propose au sein de l’institut un jazz club, parallèlement aux cours qu’il donne sur la théorie du jazz et des musiques du XXe siècle.
Pour revenir à ce trio, je dirai qu’il est en train de donner une idée très spontanée et authentique du jazz...  le jeu de ces artistes est fondé pour une large part sur l’improvisation, le traitement original de la matière sonore et une mise en valeur spécifique du rythme, le  swing. leur musique a une âme. Ils sont de véritables professionnels parce qu’ils ne recherchent pas les honneurs et les flatteries. Ils sont contre l’encensement et le manque d’exigence. Savoir chanter est sacré»
M’hamed Ali Camoun dirige le jazz club à l’ISM. C’est lui qui assure la direction des master classes. Auteur d’une thèse de doctorat, soutenue à La Sorbonne avec une spécialisation en jazz, en plus d’un diplôme en harmonie  moderne,attribué par la fédération nationale des écoles d’influence de jazz en France, il est depuis juin 2007 à l’ISM en tant qu’assistant.
«Je suis très satisfait des résultats de cet atelier. La performance de ces grands artistes, venus des Etats-Unis, est remarquable. J’admire leur savoir-faire, de même que le rendement de nos étudiants, particulièrement le pianiste Wathiq Fekih, le trompettiste Sahbi et la vocaliste Emna Jaziri».
Adel LATRECH


Jazz Hot Magazine (September 2007 issue), France
 Magazine " Musica Jazz", Italy 2006
 Magazine "Jazz Hihyo", Japan  September 2006
CD REVIEW
Eri Yamamoto Trio
Up&Coming
(Jane Street)
How long does it take to become a great jazz musician? Would you believe five and a half years? That would seem to be the case with Eri Yamamoto, a 32-year- old Japanese pianist who abandoned a budding classical career half a decade ago to pursue jazz studies at the New School. Yamamoto had no jazz background whatsoever when she arrived in New York from Kyoto-something I can personally attest to, having heard her stumble through standards some years back at the Loisaida bar that is now Manitoba's. Saloon din tended to drown out Yamamoto's trio until she started pulling out her originals, the attentive silence that greeted them clued me in that fresh ideas were on the way.
Yamamoto's maturity is instantly evidence on the title cut/opener of "UP&COMING,"her self-produced debut. The deceptively simple melody line demands perfect timing, and Yamamoto raises the degree of difficulty by upending it with a bridge in modified waltz-time. The way this impacts her solo is particularly breathtaking: On one chorus, she applies single-note lines reminiscent of Lennie Tristano; next, she alternates running trills with off-kilter phrases; and finally - just before a bass solo by John Graham Davis - she slides back and forth across drummer Ikuo Takeuchi's supple pulse.
And yet that's only a small sampling of the pianist's breadth and economy. The five originals included here are demonstrate an extraordinarily rich compositional sensibility - to say nothing of a delicate touch - and what's most impressive is how they outpace Yamamoto's takes on classics like Miles Davis's "ALL BLUES" and Vincent Youman's "WITHOUT A SONG." I haven't caught Yamamoto's trio since it took up residence in the Village at Arthur's Tavern two years ago, but if the album is any indication, the time she's spent at the rambunctious watering hole has taught
her hoe familiarity combined with subtlety can move a crowd. That understanding is crucial for any musician hoping to become a great player as quickly as she has.

K. Leander Williams (Music Writer)
Time Out, NY Magazine 8/2/2001
Single File: Eri Yamamoto Trio "Half Moon"
(Jane Street)
 (After reading liner notes) From these notes, it almost sounds like she had no jazz training before she came here. How is that possible?!?
Wow. I don't know anyone could get to this level in such a short period of time, but me hat's off to her. It certainly took me longer than that.
This is her tune, so that means she can write, too. This is just the beginning, and already she's found her own voice.

Herbie Hancock (Pianist)
Time Out, NY Magazine 9/27/2001

All About Jazz" 
Newspaper & Website Oct. 2003
Three Feel
Eri Yamamoto | Jane Street
By Terrell Holmes

As the denizens of Arthur's Tavern in Greenwich Village undoubtedly know, pianist Eri Yamamoto is one of jazz's mostdynamic new talents. Her new CD,
Three Feel, gives the listener an idea of what her audiences are treated to each week. Joining her on this trio date are drummer Ikuo Takeuchi and bassist Alan Hampton.

Yamamoto's singular approach to playing is evident from jump as she opens with a fabulously dynamic and uptempo rendition of John Coltrane's, er, Richard Rodgers' "My Favorite Things," the pianist's frenetic runs driven by Takeuchi's passionate drumming.
"Hi-Sai" opens up deliberately with a dialogue between Yamamoto and Takeuchi, until a brief plucked statement by Hampton signals the change to a midtempo groove. "Velvet," written by the Hampton, is a challenging ballad, featuring Takeuchi alternating between brushes and sticks and Yamamoto playing with introspection, all of it glued together by the composer's confident bass.

"Just In Time" features fabulous trio work and a nice solo by Takeuchi, who contributes the jaunty and humorously-titled "Frog Days Afternoon," which has more great bass work. "Two Feel," the ostensible title track, opens with a plucked bass and drum dialogue and blossoms into a playful blues. "Tibet Smiles" begins slowly, then builds to a quick tempo, with more great bass and dynamic drumming by Takeuchi. The disc ends with "Half Moon," featured on in a trio setting on Yamamoto's first CD, Up & Coming, but beautifully performed solo here.

Yamamoto penned most of the songs on this exhilarating disc. Her compositional style augments her deft, inventive playing and fits her bandmates like a glove. The prospect of Eri Yamamoto getting better isn't just daunting, it's scary.
But like boarding a rollercoaster, you look forward to the thrill.

▼ Magazine"Swing Journal"Jan. 2005, ▼"Magazine"Jazz Hihyo"Mar. 2005.
"JAZZ LIFE" Magazine  August, 2006
Newspaper articles

  ▼"Mainichi Shinbun" Newspaper Jun. 2004.
  ▼"Kyoto Shinbun"Newspaper Nov. 2004.
  ▼"Yomiuri Shinbun" News paper" May. 2005.
  ▼ Magazine "Examiner" Aug. 2005.
 ▼ "Shiga Plus one" Public Neewspaper Jul. 2005.