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Meet Yoko Miwa

By Published: June 22, 2005
AAJ: In your writing there is a very prominent role for the bass as a lead melodic instrument. Am I correct in saying this?

YM: You could say that. There are a lot of lines in my music and I like combining through composed elements with improvisation. I may have a very specific idea for the bass, or something which has more freedom but is still linear. The role of the bassist is changing; the bass is no longer just a timekeeper, so it just makes sense to me to think of a new ways to include the bass in my music.

Although it is my piano trio, I don't want to be too piano heavy or only about the piano. I like to explore the possibilities of all the instruments. Sometimes I approach my writing strictly by harmony, or other times I will use just lines or melodies. Usually one comes first and dictates or suggests what the other should be. I have the opportunity to work with my trio often, thus they know my music well. They know when to take liberty and when to take care of business.

Using the bass as a melody instrument in a piano setting is something I am drawn to. I wrote my composition "Flood of Tears" in which the bass plays the melody—I mean it is a melody that would sound nice on piano, but to me it is meant for the bass.

I just always heard it that way.

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Download jazz mp3 “Mr. B.G.” by Yoko Miwa Trio
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