“His name is Tadataka Unno.

The things I love about his playing are

he has a tremendous sense of dynamics.

And he doesn’t just bang the piano.

He touches it like Hank Jones, Teddy Wilson and Tommy Flanagan.

He’s not afraid to play something beautiful.

It’s more of the challenge to play something beautiful.

It’s challenging to do that and it still makes it interesting.”

- Roy Hargrove, 1969-2018


I’m deeply grateful to Roy, one of the greatest musicians ever on the planet. He was the real and so special. He taught me a whole lot about music and life with humanity and feeling. I was so fortunate to have learned and played with his quintet that traveled the world for fruitfulness two years straight. I didn’t go to any jazz school but I learned from the bandstand and he was the best teacher I could ask for.

As a native Japanese, grew up and listened to music in Tokyo, I needed to know more feelings and stories what make our music great. Roy helped me to understand the deep soul. I always thankful to Roy for what he’s done for me, believing me and having me in the RH musical family. I will be grateful forever.

Once I asked Roy about John Hicks who I couldn’t meet in person. Roy said, “don't worry man, you can feel John through me”. Now this is my turn to keep Roy’s legacy alive and pass on.

I can still hear his beautiful sound and voice that called me Tada! He often called my name on the bandstand to encourage me. I miss him dearly since he left us. Because he was already a part of my soul.

“When the groove is dead and gone you know that love survives so we can rock forever, on” (Rod Temperton)

Love you, Roy. Rest in peace.