Jun Iida reaches the summit! ...Evergreen is all about balance—everything is perfectly calibrated, beautiful, intelligent, and one simply allows oneself to be carried away...we are certainly only at the beginning of delightful surprises.
Trumpeter Jun Iida's warm, inviting tone, astute composition choices and his sublime sense of melody lead the way on his debut recording. After five years in Los Angeles and three in Seattle, Evergreen memorializes the musical focus and development that transpired over those years, as he moves on to new adventures in New York. Recorded in Los Angeles, Jun brought together L.A. friends Josh Nelson on piano, guitarist Masami Kuroki and bassist Jonathan Richards, along with the dynamic Seattle drummer Xavier Lecouturier. New York vocalist Aubrey Johnson brilliantly adds to Jun's soaring melodies with her often wordless vocals, and sings in Japanese on a song from Jun's childhood, "Akatombo," and the J-pop anime song "Shiki no Uta," both in a nod to Jun's family heritage. Between the swinging "Gooey Butter Cake" and "Bellarosa," to the haunting "Theme from Spartacus," or the spacious title track, Jun shares a sparkling and compelling message that's sure to resonate.
"...uniquely contemporary yet forward leaning. Iida's solos are elegant and engrossing while the band is given moments to shine to make the entire album a treat."
Slang of Ages
1 Gooey Butter Cake 4:46
2 Akatombo 6:36 (Kosaku Yamada)
3 Evergreen 6:08
4 Shiki no Uta 3:15 (J. Seba & M. Kuwano)
5 Bellarosa 4:10(S. Rollins & E. Hope)
6 Forgotten Memories 6:30
7 Love Theme from Spartacus 3:59 (A. North & T. Callier)
8 My Anguish in Solidarity 8:31
9 Song for Luke 7:42
10 Holding On to Autumn 7:09
(1,3,6,8,9,10) by Jun Iida / Jun Iida Music
Produced by Jun Iida
Co-produced by Josh Nelson
Recorded by Talley Sherwood
at Tritone Recording, Los Angeles, CA
November 22-23, 2022
Mixed & Mastered by Rich Breen, Burbank, CA
Liner notes by Gary Fukushima
Front cover photo by Steve Korn
Band photo by Elaine Tantra
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Nicholas F Mondello)
Evergreen from trumpeter/flugelhornist Jun Iida is a textural panorama of multi-cultural jazz flavors, offering original and known fare. Each of the ten tracks is a portrait, and they display fine solo and ensemble playing. To describe Evergreen in one word is to call it "intriguing." "Gooey Butter Cake," one of six originals from Iida, opens th ...
Musical Memories (Dee Dee McNeil)
From the first musical strains of this album, the group is swinging hard and they put me in a very festive place. The tone of Jun Iida's trumpet reminds me of New Orleans and the early days of Louie Armstrong. The tune is titled, "Gooey Butter Cake" and it's both sweet and jubilant, like celebrating someone's birthday. The "Evergreen" title of th ...
JazzMa (Hungary) (Robert Maloschik)
Born to Japanese parents in St. Louis, trumpeter Jun Iida (1991) received his musical education from his mother, who was an amateur koto (Japanese zither) player. Through his family, Iida acquired a wide knowledge of music in all styles at an early age. He studied classical and jazz music at the same time, but he is still open to all kinds of style ...
Marlbank (UK) (Stephen Graham)
A new name to us. Trumpeter Jun Iida - a US player of Japanese descent whose style recalls the much missed Roy Hargrove a bit - here on a very pleasant set of originals and standards recorded in a Los Angeles studio in 2022. The vocals of Audrey Johnson are tucked under melody lines and ingeniously add to the arranging style, and Iida also surround ...
JAZZIZ (Michael Fagien)
Editors' Choice Playlist Trumpeter and composer Jun Iida reflects his peripatetic life and unique musical influences on his debut album, Evergreen, featuring the straight-ahead, upbeat original "Gooey Butter Cake," paying homage to a sweet treat popular in St. Louis, where his journey began, in our playlist's conclusive track. ...
Slang of Ages (Preston Frazier)
The first notes of Iida's "Gooey Butter Cake" creates a joyous feeling which permeates his album, "Evergreen". Part of that feel is created by Iida's expressive and forward leaning composition style. The trumpeter and producer contributed six of the ten songs on "Evergreen". Another element which raises the bar is Iida's role as band leader and pro ...
Paris Move (Thierry De Clemensat)
For a debut album, Jun Iida reaches the summit! Indeed, Evergreen is all about balance—nothing excessive, whether in compositions or arrangements; everything is perfectly calibrated, beautiful, intelligent, and one simply allows oneself to be carried away, thinking that with this musician, we are certainly only at the beginning of delightful surp ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Trumpeter Jun Iida has a sweet Kenny Dorham-style to his horn on this taste-laden album with Aubey Johnson/voc, Masami Kuroki/g, Josh Nelson/p-key, Jonathan Richards/b and Xavier Lecouturier/dr. The genius here is the melding of Iida's horn with the ethereal voice of Johnson, who alternates between singing in Japanese, as on the soulful "Shiki N ...
Radio Sant Vicenc (Barcelona) (Miquel Tuset Mallol)
The warm tone and welcoming trumpeter Jun Iida, the cunning selection of tracks and his sublime sense of melody lead his debut recording. After five years in Los Angeles and three in Seattle, "Evergreen" is reminiscent of the musical approach and development that went It took place during those years, while he now goes on to live new adventures in ...
London Jazz (John Arnett)
"Evergreen" is the debut album of US trumpeter and flugelhorn player Jun Iida. The album was recorded in Los Angeles where he lived for five years, before recently moving to New York. Six of the ten compositions are his own originals, but all are reflective of both his Japanese heritage and his command and fluency in jazz composition and stylings, ...
Times Standard (Arts Editor)
"Evergreen" showcases Iida's modern, edgy originals and imaginative re-workings of other compositions off the beaten path. Iida has lived in Seattle, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Los Angeles, and recently relocated to New York City. Iida has internalized the different styles of music from each region, making his approach to composing and ...
The JW Vibe (Jonathan Widran)
The bio of multi-talented emerging jazz trumpeter Jun Iida reads a bit like a freewheeling cultural and geographic travelogue, with a foundation of classical and music from his Japanese heritage and location shifts throughout his life from his hometown of St. Louis to Pittsburgh, Seattle, Cleveland, Los Angeles and now NYC. Perhaps one of his m ...
Earshot Jazz (ROBERT HAM)
The career of most every musical artist is a slow or fast build toward their first major statement: their debut album. It's the culmination of years of acquired skills and influences all funneled into one easily consumable chunk. In the case of trumpeter Jun Iida, he arrived at a recording studio in Glendale, California with a wealth of material co ...