Our old friend Koichi Yoshida’s band Yugao (moonflower) performed at Zac Baran on August 1st. This was the first time for me to see him play with this band and the first time in more than I year I have seen Koichi play the shakuhachi. The set was an eclectic blending of classical, jazz and Japanese traditional influences played by Koichi on shakuhachi, Ikeda Ippei on piano, William Prunkl on cello and special guest Fujisawa Bayan on tabla. I was particularly struck by how well the cello and shakuhachi complemented each other. Most of all though I was impressed by the marked progress Koichi has made with the shakuhachi. That fella has talent! It was a wondeful performance all around but undoubtedly the most popular tune of the night was Chick Corea’s “Spain”. The audience loved this one so much that they demanded it again as a second encore at the end. Fortuitously a Spanish flamenco teacher was present at the front of the room and it is her you can hear joining in with hand claps and jaleo type shouts.
Here’s something lighter; an original number by Koichi entitled 海辺 or “Sea”.
Yugao: an amazing, unique and unforgettable collaboration!
Links to the musicians websites:
These images (right) courtesy of Yoshida Koichi.