Ryo Fukui - Letter From Slowboat
We listen to this record at home a lot. Kathleen especially loves it. The light touch and voicing of Ryo Fukui reminds her of Vince Guaraldi’s style and gives her all the warm feels of the Peanuts Christmas record which means she can listen to Slowboat guilt free all year long - even those six months out of the year when you’re technically not supposed to listen to christmas music. The album is named for and recorded at the jazz club itn Sapporo called Slowboat that Fukui opened with his wife Yasuko in 1995. The idea for the record was Yasuko’s. She thought it important for the trio he’d been playing with at the club to record this moment in time before they all got too busy with other projects. Fukui, who never thought he was good enough, was hesitant to record - always finding faults in his playing. It may be, though, that he uses his faults to his advantage for this exactly is what draws me to his music. David Byrne once said, “the better a singer’s voice, the harder it is to believe what they are saying.” This must hold true for the piano as well. Fukui is able to express so much feeling and emotion through his hands at the keys. This might not have been the case if he were as precise and polished as he wished he was. Luckily for us, Yasuko persevered, Fukui relented and the album was recorded in early 2015 and released later that year. Letter from Slowboat was to be his last record as he died of lymphoma in March of 2016. Ryo Fukui has had immense posthumous success with many of his albums being reissued and snagged up by collectors like me and you. Enjoy!
-Will Pratt 12/1/21
Jingle Beans - Ethiopian Blend
Our annual holiday blend! Each year we go out of our way to make this blend as viciously fruity and seasonally outlandish as we can. This year we wholeheartedly went for it by blending two merry coffees that triumphantly coalesce into the best interpretation of aqueous fruit cake in a cup. This year we achieved a holiday blend spectacular by combining 3/4 washed Harbegona from Sidama, Ethiopia with 1/4 natural Bulga from West Arsi, Ethiopia. Simply splendid.