"Iridescent Clouds"


Press Release


CD - 33 Jazz - September 2016




“Acknowledged for her trademark lyricism, pianist Taeko Kunishima reflects upon the wonders of nature on Iridescent Clouds, offering elegant improvised passages encased in a meditative concept.”

All About Jazz.com   (2016)




Track listing: Blue Clouds/In Search Of Time Lost/Iridescent Seashell/Secret/Lighthouse In Winter/Oak Tree Leaf Rustles In My Mind/Everything Is In The Air/Volcanic Rocks


Total playing time 49.30                                                                                                        




Pianist Taeko Kunishima was a long term resident in London, and is now based in Japan. Her trademark lyricism is all over her fourth album release, Iridescent Clouds. Taeko has newly composed eight beautiful pieces, in a mellow, melodic vein with occasional atmospheric twists, as her music shifts elegantly from melody to improvisation and back again. Her core group again features the ethereal, Zen-like tones of the Japanese shakuhachi flute, in the hands of Clive Bell, Europe’s leading exponent of this instrument. The warm sound of Paul Moylan’s double bass underpins every ensemble piece.




Iridescent Clouds welcomes other musicians: the brilliant young percussionist Camilo Tirado plays tablas, cahon and gongs. Hibiki Ichikawa contributes the zinging rhythms of his three-stringed Tsugaru shamisen. The album conveys the listener to surprising locations thanks to Jeremy Hawkins’s subtle use of field recordings. The track “Iridescent Seashell” promises a stunning duet between piano and the uguisu bird (Japanese Bush Warbler). Additional splashes of colour come from Bell’s khene (Thai mouth organ) and Cretan double pipes.  




Produced in the UK by Clive Bell and engineered by the indefatigable Nick Pugh, Iridescent Clouds is released on Paul Jolly’s label, 33Jazz. It’s her most delightful record yet, and will transport listeners to Sound Cloud Nine!



Contact for more information and performance: taeko@taeko.co.uk  www.33jazz.com  




“Late Autumn”


CD - 33 Jazz – 1st October 2011 

To The Hebrides/Return To Life/The Waves/Kimie/Spring Rain/Rain Sketch/Dusk/Promise/Late Autumn

Total playing time 50.48  

Taeko Kunishima’s third album finds the pianist (born in Shizuoka, Japan, now based in London) in a mood both lyrical and risk-taking. These nine original compositions fully display Taeko’s way with a melody, but this is jazz with a thoroughly contemporary sound. 

Opener “To The Hebrides” is a meditative piano solo, quickly followed by the driving riff of “Return To Life”: Paul Moylan’s powerful double bass and Max Hallett’s shoot-from-the-hip drums are united in urgency. Sean Corby’s eloquent trumpet switches from au naturel to electronic psychedelia, while Clive Bell’s shakuhachi flute brings a lurking samurai menace to “Spring Rain” and “Dusk”. Meanwhile David Ross’s percussion stokes the embers under simmering charmers like “Promise”. Finally vocalist Rio Roberts paints the elegiac watercolours of the title track, a beautiful study in melodic melancholy. 

Clive Bell’s production luxuriates in acoustic warmth, but then takes dubwise liberties, making this a surprising and decidedly non-purist album. Late Autumn is the most profound and adventurous statement so far from this creative Japanese pianist. 

More information: taeko@taeko.co.uk




Taeko Kunishima - Piano

Shizuoka-born pianist Taeko Kunishima performs regularly across the UK, Germany and Japan. With a background in both classical and jazz, she has toured the UK with support from Jazz Services, and has three albums on the 33Jazz label.

“Kunishima’s composing and piano playing have an appealing charm; she has an uncanny way of drawing one in for repeated listening.” JazzReview.com

Clive Bell – Shakuhachi, Flute, Producer

Europe’s leading performer on the Japanese shakuhachi, Clive Bell has been heard on recordings by David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Jochen Irmler (Faust), Karl Jenkins and Jeff Beck. He is a member of PIL bassist Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart, and has recently toured with Wobble’s Nippon Dub Ensemble.

Sean Corby - Trumpet

Trumpeter Sean Corby also plays regularly with Jah Wobble, heard on Wobble’s 2011 release “7”. He performs with UK Latin Soul pioneers Grupo X, and has recorded with Jazz Warriors, Manic Street Preachers, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Gary Crosby's NU Troop, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs.

Paul Moylan – Double Bass

Top European bass player Paul Moylan numbers John Dankworth and John Etheridge among his collaborators, and put in a long stint as Michael Garrick's right hand man. Studies in composition with Hans Werner Henze were followed by an appearance on East Enders. As bandleader Paul works with Yair Schleider, Ronnen Kozokoro, Martin Hathaway and Mattias Eskilsson.

Maxwell Hallett - Drums

One of London’s most exciting young drummers, Max Hallett plays with Hot Head Show (2011 European tour alongside US freak-metal-rockers Primus), Super Best Friends Club (heard repeatedly on BBC6 Radio), Soccer 96 (2011 appearance at Ronnie Scotts) and The Braindead Collective (regulars at London’s Vortex club).

David Ross – Cajon, Percussion

Percussionist and live electronics explorer David Ross has impeccable UK underground credentials for his work with Kenny Process Team and the Grutronic quartet (recorded collaborations with Evan Parker and Orphy Robinson). Other musical partners include Eugene Chadbourne, Matt Deighton, Clive Bell and sixties psychedelicists Mighty Baby.

Rio Roberts – Vocal

Singer Rio Roberts first made her name in the 80s, singing and playing flute in The Academy and The Exotic Pets. Later she formed Rio And The Robots and released singles on Arista Records. She currently leads a quartet featuring pianist Rodney Mendonca, bass player Tony Archer and Derek Gayle on drums. According to Tony Bennett, “She is the one to watch.” 

Matthew Collis – Recording Engineer

Much in demand in the London area, engineer Matthew Collis is a regular in the 33Jazz studio. He recorded Robert Mitchell’s The Greater Good, which won the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Award for Best Jazz Album 2009.