Toru Dodo | DODO 3 (USA version)

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Featuring Piano
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DODO 3 (USA version)

by Toru Dodo

Serious could be funny. Complexity could be simplicity. Jazz could be beautiful music.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. R or B
3:56 album only
2. Bolivia
4:46 album only
3. Boneless & Skinless
5:05 album only
4. Inside Bubbles
4:04 album only
5. NYUCS(New York Underground Car Service)
5:18 album only
6. A Spiral Escalator
5:45 album only
7. Arabesque
5:14 album only
8. Giacomo Swing
4:43 album only
9. Brush Pitch
3:58 album only
10. My Romance
6:24 album only
11. For Mr. M (Sazae's Theme)
3:14 album only
12. T. Dog's Theme
4:20 album only


Album Notes
Toru Dodo's recorded 3 CDs for Japanese label,
Jazz City Spirit. "DODO 3" is his 3rd album that
originally was released on February 2006 in Japan.
This USA version was made in January 2007 for people who are
not too good at reading liner notes written in Japanese.
This English friendly version has same music tracks but
the price is cheaper than Japanese version.
1)Reviews from
by Brad Walseth

In a musical landscape filled with pianists who seem to have been cut with the same cookie cutter, it is a true pleasure to find someone who is forging their own original style. Toru Dodo may not be the next Thelonius Monk (yet), but he is developing his own unique and individual approach to the piano - one that is sure to enchant the discerning listener. His 3rd release - "DoDo 3" continues the artist's journey forward - and is a bewitching romp filled with luscious playing and a sly sense of humor.

Dodo is again presented in a piano trio setting, and his fellow players - Joseph Lepore on bass and Rodney Green on drums - seem well suited to assist the pianist in achieving his eccentric, but highly listenable works. The rollicking "R or B" opens with a bang - its' shifting rhythms creating a compelling musical landscape. Cedar Walton's "Bolivia" follows and pays tribute to Dodo's influences in a superb version of this classic tune. Another Dodo original - The humorously-titled "Boneless and Skinless" follows and again shows the pianist's unique compositional style - full of starts and stops and unusual changes. One is tempted to believe the artist's Oriental heritage has something to do with his off-center interval and chord choices.

Showing he can do it slow and soft as well, "Inside Bubbles" is a beautiful and haunting Debussy-inspired ballad, which in turn leads into the churning, up-tempo "NYUCS (New York Underground Car Service). "A Spiral Escalator" contains rising and falling motifs - giving the musical impression of riding such an imaginery contraption. Meanwhile, "Arabesque" sounds like what Chopin, Schumann or Debussy would sound like if they had worked within a jazz setting. In another nod to the great classical composers - "Giacomo Swing" is named after the Italian Opera composer Puccini and utilizes Lepore's bowed bass to nice effect. Another up-tempo number that features Dodo's unique innovative method on the keyboards, "Brush Pitch" also gives Green a fine solo spot on the drums.

The great standard "My Romance" is given loving treatment by the pianist, and he also covers a famous (in Japan) television animation theme song ("Sazae's Theme") - whose strong melody reminds us here in the West that we have much we could gain by opening up more to different cultures - like those of the Far East. Finally, the fun "T Dog's Theme" powerfully ends the album - again highlighting Lepore and Green's muscular playing beneath Dodo's "Monk-like" comping style and strangely delightful interval and rhythm choices.

Artful, and often playful in his approach, Dodo is always fascinating to listen to, and I would highly recommend this album to those who love piano music, but are tired of run-of-the-mill piano outings.

2)Reviews from
by Edward Blanco
Jan.29 '07

By: Edward Blanco

New York-based pianist and composer Toru Dodo who hails from Tokyo, Japan, makes an elegant musical statement with Dodo 3, his third CD on the Jazz City Records label.
The album captures a warm session of light rhythms and colorful harmonies provided by a fine trio that includes bassist Joseph Lepore and Rodney Green on the sticks and brushes.

Of the twelve tracks on the album, Dodo contributes nine originals beginning with rhythm-rich up tempo movements of “R or B.” There’s a lot of good stuff here to savor like the soft and lovely “Inside Bubbles,” the exceptional fast-paced and quite lively tribute to New York’s underground car service, “NYUCS (New York Underground Car Service) ” and the classical sounds of “Arabesque” featuring Dodo and the bassist trading shots on one beautiful piece of music.

There are three standards not to be missed. Cedar Walton’s “Bolivia” jumps out at you with sharp crisp chords from the pianist in one exciting number. Dodo showcases his appreciable talents playing solo on “Sazae’s Theme,” written by Japanese composer, Kyohei Tsutsumi. The stand out tune for this listener has to be the enchanting rendition of Richard Rogers’ classic “My Romance.”

Dodo 3 is an album of warm rhythm-based combination of mellow light jazz with sparks of brilliance from a master pianist and wonderful trio. A welcome addition to my collection of jazz music.



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