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Keiko Matsui - Echo

Posted by Kat Cullen on 2019/02/19

Keiko Matsui - Echo

With Keiko’s 28th recording being released February 22, the soft spoken Japanese pianist said of her newest project, Echo….“I would like my music to be a conduit for peace, kindness, love and light. My recording Echo is my attempt to capture all of these elements into the vibration of sound.”  Grammy nominated producer, Bud Harner, was brought in to capture the sound Keiko so desired with an all-star list of notable musicians such as Marcus Miller, Robben Ford, Vinnie Colaiuta, Kirk Whalum and Kyle Eastwood. First up is the elegant track ‘Unshakable’ with its uplifting melodies and rhythms reminiscent of the late George Duke.  ‘Moon Over Gotham’ has your familiar smooth jazz beeps and bops and the title track ‘Echo’ has a cinematic feel to it - worthy of an Oscar winning film.  ‘Invisible Rain’ really stands out with its sweeping orchestral vibe and luscious piano from the award winning Matsui.  By viewing the ‘Behind The Scenes’ short clip on her website’s homepage, you gain deep insight into the way she composed the music and led the band to the culmination of their combined efforts - a smooth masterpiece! The single, ‘Spirit Dance’, is noteworthy for its transcendent elements and for the flair of Gretchen Parlato's vocals.  In the words of Herbie Hancock, she's “..a singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music”.  When Keiko writes, she's inspired by particular artists whom she thinks should be featured in each composition,  like Parlato and also bassist, Kyle Eastwood, who performs on ‘Return To Eternity’.  When she came up with this melody, she immediately imagined Kyle playing  acoustic bass on the track.  There are only 10 songs on the album but I find less is more in this case.  I found myself compelled to replay the album, day and night.  Matsui has given us some beautiful work over the years but, given the mystical qualities of her newest album, this is a step in a new direction.  Bravo, Keiko…BRAVO!

Gary James

Host of the ‘Night Show

The Wave

94.7 HD2/95.9 HD2


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