Dig guitarist Daisuke Abe (pronounced "DYE-soo-kay AH-bay"). Japanese-born, Berklee-educated (class of '02), and currently making his home in NYC, this up-and-comer was encouraged to pursue a career in jazz by veteran drummer Rodney Green who plays skins on Abe's debut as a leader, On My Way Back Home. Abe also recruited similarly youthful but potent performers Aaron Parks on piano; Matt Brewer on bass, and Berklee classmate Walter Smith on tenor.
Abe's tone is comparable to the warm clarity of Peter Bernstein's with a touch of Methenyesque reverb. His attack is bell-tonish, lucid and striking, and his chords leave a lovely crystalline jangling in their wake. While he is still developing his vocabulary of licks (we can't all be Pat Martino, after all!), his chops sound promising. While contemporaries like Bernstein or Kurt Rosenwinkel solo using wide intervals and octave jumps, Abe holds our interest with more linear, scalar statements. His ideas are direct, logical, melodic and impressive. He also possesses an expert compositional style, melding heady lines and metric shifts with an uplifting sense of lyricism -- cerebral yet accessible.
A live performance of "Go!" at the Blue Note with the same cast of characters from the new album. (Incidentally, "go" is Japanese for "five," since the tune is in 5/4!)
Buy On My Way Back Home!