Drummer Sohnosuke Imaizumi lays down impressive foundations with his debut album Rin. Having worked as a member of groups including Quasimode and Beatmoss, this is his first album as a leader. These 14 tracks feature his trio playing original songs and jazz standards, interwoven with hip-hop-influenced grooves and spacey drums-and-sampler interludes.

A gorgeously-recorded drum and cymbal sound makes Imaizumi a pleasure to listen to as he plays with his well-suited bandmates. His rhythmic sense is masterful, lightly delivered with ease as he improvises fills, accents beats, and plays with time. His drumming is particularly in sync with bassist Kazuhiro Sunaga from the Japanese jazz group Quasimode, where Imaizumi previously drummed for five years and released five Blue Note releases.

Session leader Imaizumi contributes all of the original songs and arrangements on the album (“Nag Champa”, “You So Kind”, “1993 Misawa Air Base”, and others). In addition to jazz, the drummer’s style and influences are on display with the track “Hip Hop Medley”, where “Carry On Tradition” (Nas) and “Each and Every Thursday” (Funky DL) are performed as a stylish jazz tribute, one of the album’s groovier high points. Two choice jazz standards are also performed in straight-ahead jazz form, Benny Golson’s “Fair Weather” and George Gershwin’s “Soon”.

In addition, six tracks by Imaizumi and sampler artist Blahmuzik are placed between other tracks and serve as interesting sound buffers showcasing the drummer’s beat and textural capabilities.

The overall album delivers an exciting variety of moods centered around a modern jazz piano trio with a fun vibe, well-produced, skillfully played, and decorated with stimulating experimentation.

Rin by Sohnosuke Imaizumi

Released in 2015 on Flower Records as FLRC-070.

Japanese Names: Sohnosuke Imaizumi 今泉総之輔 Kazuhiro Sunaga 須長和広 Kazuhiro Tamura 田村和大

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Feb 27, 2018 (Updated Aug 20, 2021)