Memories of T is a 2017 recording from the group TCQ which brings together Japanese and Taiwanese musicians for a cross-cultural jazz collaboration. This quartet features Taiwanese alto sax player Shawna Yang and three musicians from Japan: Naoko Tanaka on piano, Daiki Yasukagawa on bass, and Takeshi Sakamoto on drums. Eight original tracks make up the playlist, two apiece from each member, with a convivial atmosphere running throughout. The music is straightforward and pleasant with swing and bossa grooves underpinning their polished modern jazz sound.

Although the album was released under the TCQ (Twin City Quartet) name, drummer Takeshi Sakamoto bridges the twin cities as leader and founder of this group. Originally from Japan, he studied in New York before moving to Taipei, Taiwan, where he continued to play jazz locally as well as on tours through Asia. It was in Taipei where he worked with the acclaimed jazz saxophonist Shawna Yang (a Berklee College of Music graduate), gaining insights into the parallels of the jazz scenes in each city. Sakamoto was inspired to record this record to promote the jazz cities’ alliance together with Yang and the Tokyo musicians, strengthening the bonds between Taiwan and Japan with this debut recording.

Sakamoto also provides a special essay in the liner notes with background information, where he notes the “T” of both “TCQ” and “Memories of T” being used to represent the Twin cities of Tokyo and Taipei.

Memories of T by TCQ

Released in 2017 on D-neo Daiki Musica as DNCD-13.

Japanese Names: Naoko Tanaka 田中菜緒子 Daiki Yasukagawa 安ヵ川大樹 Takeshi Sakamoto 坂本健志

Audio and Video

Excerpt from "G Island", the second track on this album:

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Nov 7, 2020