From Me to You
What can I say? The San Francisco Bay Area rocks. And one of the things I love most about it is the musical versatility. Not only the extremely wide range of styles and expression found here such as jazz, blues, R&B, funk, soul, Latin American, etc., but also the fact that the area attracts musicians like David Yamasaki, who combine the above-mentioned elements, always prioritizing love and integrity over the commercial demands of clubs, record labels, and the industry in general. Dave's notoriety as a first call guitarist for studio and live performance is no surprise to me. The fact that he is not much more widely known is indicative of how the business of music so often misses the boat. I had the honor of playing with him in the mid-eighties for about four years in the orchestra of maestro Pete Escovedo. It so happened that our stage set up found Dave and I right next to each other where I heard and felt every note he played. He never ceased to amaze me with his rock solid rhythmic accompaniment while his outrageously creative and flawless solos wowed the musicians and audience every time. I've also played with him countless times since those days with Wayne Wallace's Rhythm and Rhyme and even with my own band in the studio, and it's always a great pleasure to hear, watch and feel him burst through his guitar and grab everyone in the room. He plays with so much honesty, freedom and joy, that it's truly contagious. David is constantly striving to improve and push the parameters. He richly deserves the high respect bestowed upon him by all his peers and colleagues. From Me To You is a wonderful example of some of the best of our local crew of stellar musicians coming together around David's emotive guitar - at once elegant, tender and powerful. His broad-based influence and innate musicality is in plain evidence here. Check out the intense urban edge of Benny's Blues, the high danceability of the jazzy cha cha chá From Me to You, the proud Asian triple meter adventurousness of Samurai Hee Haw (title notwithstanding), Dave's lilting samba/mambo arrangement of Jaco's Three Views of a Secret, or any one of the several gorgeous ballads and semi-ballads like Just For You, Just Once, or Rachel's Song. Everything is passionate, yet has a relaxed, natural flow that gives the deceptive impression that it's easy to do. IT AIN'T! Dave's work as a composer/arranger is also remarkable throughout this recording. He wrote half the tunes and the imaginative arrangements are all his, too! To top it off, he's a dedicated, great teacher of kids. He's shared his vast knowledge and experience with thousands of youngsters for many years through the Alameda County School District where he has been commended and recognized for his outstanding service. David Yamasaki is the total package - a musician's musician who always reaches the hearts of his listeners. It's time the public and the music business caught up with him. John Santos Oakland, CA April, 2003.