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Yukako Yamano: 3rd Stage
Yukako Yamano’s 3rd Stage is the third album in her live set series, following her 1st Stage and 2nd Stage naturally and wrapping up the symbolic three-set performance established by the album titles. With ten tracks and a running time of approximately 60 minutes, 3rd Stage demonstrates Yamano’s funky, poppy, delicate, and groovy sides through mostly original songs with a few covers as well.
Differing from the first two releases, this album focuses on her work as a solo artist and showcases many of her original songs. Throughout, the music is infused with her special style of melodic and memorable jazzy pop creations. As a solo pianist, Yamano’s playing is loaded with catchy riffs and repeating patterns over which she develops improvisational explorations. At other moments, she can create lovely, somber themes with fragile atmospheres. Songs like “Mahoruba” and “Before After” range from galloping grooves to sweet and cute music, while the show-stealer “Summertime/Piano Concerto No. 2” merges Gershwin and Rachmaninov themes in an impressive medley. The final track, “Love Coke!”, is another popular crowd-pleaser and a fun tribute to her collection of variations of this addictive soft drink.
3rd Stage by Yukako Yamano
Yukako Yamano - piano
Released in 2017 on Yukako Yamano as YKRN-0003.
Japanese names: Yukako Yamano 山野友佳子
Audio and Video
Excerpt from "Luna", the seventh track on this album: