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The Road...

The Road...

by Keiko Matsui, Frank Marocco Keiko Matsui
The Road...

The Road...

by Keiko Matsui, Frank Marocco Keiko Matsui


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It's been four long years since pianist and composer Keiko Matsui released the spare, elegant Moyo. That is an atypical break for an artist who has recorded 22 studio albums since her debut in the late 1980s. Appearing on Shanachie for the first time, The Road was largely self-produced. Matsui appears in varying contexts here, from trios to quartets and quintets to an octet on a musically diverse set that sums up virtually every place she's been while continuing to point the way forward. Some of these players have collaborated with her for decades while still others make their initial appearances. The opening "Secret Pond" utilizes Matsui's love of new age music in a context that also employs Japanese folk melodies and classical themes; it is arranged by Heigo Yokouchi and features bassist Reggie Hamilton and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Cameroonian bassist, composer, and vocalist Richard Bona appears on the successive tracks "Falcon's Wing," and "Nguea Wonja." The former is a breezy minor-key affair with Matsui playing a classical theme counter to Bona's lithe, nocturnal bassline and shimmering wordless vocal. The latter is an exercise in world jazz that encompasses African and Latin rhythms in a stridently syncopated context. "Bohemian Concerto" is a dead cross between tango and flamenco with Matsui's piano trio pairing with a quartet of accordion, classical guitar, violin, and cello. Kirk Whalum appears on the 21st century funky blues that is "Awakening" in a septet; he trades breaks with James Hara's guitar and Matsui. He also guests on the smooth-gooving "Affirmation," in which his soulful saxophone solo is the centerpiece. The set closes with the title track. Jackiem Joyner plays saxophone in the slowly developing tune which weds classical and new age. Derek Nakamoto's arrangement places Joyner's bluesy saxophone in direct juxtaposition to Kay Ta Matsuno's guitar and dulcimer, but the track is captured by a knotty, startling piano solo by Matsui that ends in a percussive crescendo. The Road is yet another fascinating chapter in the career of a prolific artist whose approach to contemporary music knows no bounds.

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Product Details

Release Date: 01/25/2011
Label: Shanachie
UPC: 0016351518828
catalogNumber: 5188
Rank: 47360


  1. Secret Pond
  2. Falcon's Wing
  3. Nguea Wonja
  4. Bohemian Concerto
  5. Embrace & Surrender
  6. Awakening
  7. Touching Peace
  8. Affirmation
  9. The Road...

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Keiko Matsui   Primary Artist,Piano
Frank Marocco   Accordion
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Reggie Hamilton   Bass
James Hara   Guitar
Peter Kent   Violin
Derek Nakamoto   Synthesizer,Hammond B3
Kirk Whalum   Saxophone
Alberto de Almar   Flamenco Guitar
Eric Baines   Bass
Richard Bona   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Chad Wright   Drums
Jackiem Joyner   Saxophone
Sharon Jackson   Violin
Heigo Yokouchi   Synthesizer
Mauricio Zottarelli   Drums
Kay Ta Matsuno   Dulcimer,Guitar
M.B. Gordy   Percussion,Drums
Satnam Ragotra   Percussion
Cameron Stowe   Cello

Technical Credits

Keiko Matsui   Composer,Producer
Craig Burbidge   Engineer
Rob Chiarelli   Engineer
Derek Nakamoto   Arranger,Producer
Gary Stockdale   Arranger
Marion Orr   Representation
Jack Leitenberg   Representation
Anthony Ruotolo   Engineer
Richard Bona   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Heigo Yokouchi   Arranger,Programming
Todd Bartelson   Booking

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