Fever is the 2014 debut release from Trigraph, a band that takes an eclectic approach to their music, focusing on jazz and pop while incorporating various genres and instruments into their music. The core group is the talented trio of musicians Sanae Ishikawa on vocals, Takayoshi Baba on guitar, and Reikan Kobayashi on shakuhachi and other instruments. Two additional musicians fill out the group for this recording, electric fretless bassist Ryoji Orihara, and drummer Yasushi Fukumori.
Whether singing in English on four tracks or Japanese on five tracks, Ishikawa’s voice is crystal clear and up front in the mix, directly conveying her skill and emotional power storytelling through song. The album works to maintain interest with arrangements and compositions influenced by jazz, pop, rock, Latin, musicals, and classic songwriters such as Stevie Wonder and Freddie Mercury.
As for jazz covers, the album opens with the refreshing “It Might As Well Be Spring” and the ballad “Angel Eyes”, performed here with an enticingly sultry nightclub vibe. The cute throwback “Goody-Goody” takes the role of a traditional swing jazz tune embellished with Japanese bamboo flute, and the exciting title track “Fever” is played with uptempo verve and abandon. The Japanese pop hit “Hanamizuki” is also covered, a well-known 2004 song from Japan used in an acclaimed movie by the same name and popular in karaoke rooms.
In addition to jazz, Trigraph also features five of their well-crafted original compositions: the sweetly tender “Appreciation”, the passionate “Akanegumo”, the restful “Etude for Shakuhachi and Guitar”, the ballad “Eternal Snow”, and the grand and swelling “Barau”.
Takayoshi Baba - guitar & chorus
Reikan Kobayashi - shakuhachi, piano, keyboard, voice percussion, shaker, chorus
Sanae Ishikawa - vocal & chorus
Ryoji Orihara - electric fretless bass & chorus
Yasushi Fukumori - drums & chorus
(Names in Japanese: Takayoshi Baba 馬場孝喜 Reikan Kobayashi 小林鈴勘 Sanae Ishikawa 石川早苗 Ryoji Orihara 織原良次 Yasushi Fukumori 福森康)
Excerpt from “Angel Eyes”, the second track on this album:
Trigraph performing the title track “Fever” live:
Trigraph performing the Cyndi Lauper hit “Time After Time”, opening with a live-looped shakuhachi intro:
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