I Am, Because You Are Tadataka Unno

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  • 1Somewhere Before03:23
  • 2After The Rain04:55
  • 3Eugene's Waltz03:57
  • 4Cedar's Rainbow05:16
  • 5One Way Flight04:25
  • 6C. T. B.04:53
  • 7Put That Shit In De Pocket04:05
  • 8Over The Moon04:25
  • 9Let Us Have Peace05:17
  • 10I Am, Because You Are06:49
  • 11Autumn Is Here04:57
  • Total Runtime52:22

Info for I Am, Because You Are

Tadataka Unno is a talented New York-based pianist, beloved by legends such as Hank Jones and Jimmy Cobb, and the first and last regular Japanese member of the Roy Hargrove Quintet.

In September 2020, he was the victim of an Asian hate crime caused by the spread of the new coronavirus and was assaulted by a group of people in a New York underground yard. His return album Get My Mojo Back, released in March 2022, was described by Ryuichi Sakamoto as 'lyrical and groovy at the same time'. After all, it's an album that overcomes the toughest of circumstances and is truly a joy to play." The album is full of vitality and joy, and appeals to a wide range of listeners across genres.

This second album, his second return to the band, is a regular trio work with Danton Bohrer (b) and Jerome Jennings (ds), who gave him great support, including setting up a crowd-funding campaign to help him during his serious injury. As on the previous album, all songs are original compositions by Masatake Unno. The interplay between the regular trio, based on a deep relationship of trust, is a major attraction.

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey, a sacred place where many historical jazz masterpieces were born. Unno was the last pianist to be recorded by the master pianist Rudi Van Gelder in his lifetime (2016). Maureen Sickler, Rudi's only pupil, was in charge of the recording this time. The recordings were made in the same room, without a booth, to preserve a live feel that cannot be edited. The trio's togetherness and the natural resonance of the high-ceilinged studio are captured. In addition, the album was mixed by renowned engineer Jim Anderson, who has won 11 Grammy Awards.

Tadataka Unno, piano
Danton Boller, double bass
Jerome Jennings, drums

Recorded by Maureen Sickler at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 3rd and 4th 2023
Mixed by Jim Anderson
Mastered by Ulrike Schwarz at Anderson Audio New York, March 2023
Produced by Tadataka Unno

Tadataka Unno
Born in 1980 in Tokyo, Japan to parents who are music fans, Tadataka Unno grew up listening to many kinds of music. He began playing the piano at age 4. At age 9 he started to play jazz. He attended Tokyo University for Music and Fine Art where he studied music composition. Upon graduation, Unno joined one of Japan's leading bassist Yoshio Suzuki's trio. This was when his career took off. He spent first 10 years in Japan in his career. He decides to move to the birthplace of jazz, the United States, in 2008 and start from scratch. Unno was selected to attend Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead 2010 at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Upon recommendation by Nathan Davis and Curtis Fuller, he attended the Jazz Rising Stars Program of Ravinia Festival in Chicago in the same year. In 2013 he performed for a week at the Village Vanguard as a pianist for Jimmy Cobb Trio with Paolo Benedettini. In 2014 Unno joined tribute concert for the late great Dick Morgan in D.C with Steve Abshire, David Jernigan, David Einhorn, Nasar Abadey. In autumn he released his fifth album "Journeyer" and toured Japan with recording member, Hassan J.J. Shakur and Jerome Jennings. He is the member of Jimmy Cobb Trio, Roy Hargrove Quintet (He sadly has become the last pianist of the late great Roy Hargrove for 2016-2018), Winard Harper and Jeli Posse, Clifton Anderson Quartet, John Pizzarelli Trio, Jazzmeia Horn, and Jane Irving.

Since his arrival to the United States, Unno has performed at numerous famous jazz clubs like Village Vanguard, Kennedy Center, Dizzy's Club, Blue Note, Blues Alley, Jazz Showcase, Smalls, Mezzrow, Fat Cat, The Cell, Minton's, Lenox Lounge, Jazz Standard, Side door, Scullers, Dakota, Catalina, New Morning in Paris as well as churches and local restaurants like Arturo's in West Village. He has performed / recorded / toured with Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb, John Pizzarelli, Frank Wess, Joe Wilder, Jimmy Heath, Houston Person, Slide Hampton, Al Foster, George Mraz, Winard Harper, Clifton Anderson, Hassan J.J. Shakur, Essiet Essiet, Jim Cammack, Ray Drummond, David Williams, Curtis Lundy, Gerald Cannon, Willie Jones III, Eddie Henderson, Wallace Roney, Eddie Allen, Annie Ross, Mary Stallings, Roberta Gambarini, Jazzmeia Horn, Joel Press, Bob Mover, Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Billy Kaye, Jackie Williams, Steve Little, Steve Williams, Victor See Yuen, Steve Nelson, Dave Pike, Chuck Redd, Nicki Parrott, Ralph Moore, Javon Jackson, Vincent Herring, Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, John Webber, Chuck Riggs, Peter Washington, Kenny Washington, Neal Smith, Joe Farnsworth, Jonathan Blake, Patrick O'Leary, Jacob Melchior, David Wong, Dezron Douglas, Yasushi Nakamura, Jerome Jennings, Jovan Alexander, Jonathan Barber, Ben Solomon and many more. The stimulating environment of New York is improving his already refined musicality.

He is considered one of the Japanese most gifted jazz musicians and his technique, creativity, balanced sense and beautiful tone continue to mesmerize audiences. Towards the end of their lives, both the legendary Hank Jones and Japanese jazz pianist Yuzuru Sera mentored Unno, having the highest trust in his talents. Unno looked up to them not just as mentors in music, but as mentors of life. When Hank Jones, at the age of 91, passed away in May of 2010 to the sadness of countless friends and fans, Unno was at his deathbed. Through a great sadness, Unno now holds the baton of jazz piano left by Jones.

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