Masa Kamaguchi acoustic bass
Randy Peterson drums
Recorded June 2016 at Oktaven Audio
Engineered by Ryan Streber
Mixed by Pete Rende
Mastered by Luis Bacque
- "Like tales drifting out of a dream land: untethered to time and place, free-flowing and graceful, strikingly pretty, sometimes spooky, and starkly rendered, with the input of her empathic trio... Count Rema Hasumi as a new and exciting and innovative voice on the piano trio scene." Dan McClenaghan for All About Jazz
- "If «Utazata» embodied extensive Japanese influence, «Billows of Blue references cosmic, free jazz, showing the seminal influence of such poetic composers-improvisers as Alice Coltrane and Annette Peacock and the work of fellow Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi. The new album stresses even more the intimate, fragile atmosphere of the debut album, coloring it now with cosmic-mystical motifs." Eyal Hareuveni for Salt Peanuts
- "The suggestive dialogue between Kamaguchi and Peterson, immersed in the intimate aura of piano and vocal improvisation, works perfectly." Lukasz Komla for Nowamuzyka
"Billows of Blue” is the second leader album by pianist and vocalist Rema Hasumi.
In 2015, the trio with drummer Randy Peterson and bassist Masa Kamaguchi was formed based on the idea of having a traditional piano trio setting that frames contemporary compositions and improvisations with presence of a voice. Five compositions were written by Hasumi as a result of pursuit she made for her unique sound-stories, and the trio recorded the album in the late summer of 2016 at Oktaven Audio.
While her first album “UTAZATA” (Ruweh, 2015) embodied extensive Japanese influence as its body structure, “Billows of Blue” shows more pronounced trace of the references to jazz idioms. Among these references, to note just a few, are the influences from the music of Annette Peacock, Cecil Taylor, Masabumi Kikuchi, Alice Coltrane, Jen Shyu and Geri Allen.
Still or Again unveils the trio's own interpretation of the swing that expands and contracts as the music transforms itself naturally. Nocturnal inherits this character, in serene and quiet ambiance of a ballad. Kamaguchi exhibits a passionate, sensitive improvisation to open up Vapors of Voices, which is a fast fragments of patterns and sonic expressions that also features the bold palette of Peterson's drumming. Keep My Water Still is a song with the most distinctive structure as a composition, with it's melody somewhat inspired by a series of Brazilian music. Billows of Blue, which also became the title of the album, represents Hasumi's exploration with her voice. The minimal accompaniment by Kamaguchi's bass line that perfectly walks along with Hasumi's vocal improvisation, and Peterson's hand drums and percussions creates an intimate and personal sound experience.
As this album came to form itself, it has slowly revealed it's poetry. This music is about water, which breeds, erodes, caresses, destroys, leaves and stays. Specifically, it is a dirge for 3.11.11.