436

Naoya Matsuoka: Emerald

By

Sign in to view read count


With 1997's Emerald, Naoya Matsuoka commemorates his 45th anniversary as a jazz artist with a fully acoustic album. All nine tracks were composed by this exemplary Japanese musician, who confers an engaging exultancy that holds the attention with subtle grace and explicit ingenuity. It would not be too far fetched to presume that this exuberance stems from Matsuoka’s own realization that he has come a long way, and this album in many ways showcases his personal triumph.   

class="MsoNormal">The first track establishes the atmospheric motif for the rest of the album, and rightfully so given that the album shares the same name. Matsuoka demonstrates his innate vibrancy, arranging a blithe and athletic fourteen minutes and thirty two seconds song that sweeps, climbs, and twists. “The Deep Sea” proffers a converse disposition to “Emerald,” illustrating Matsuoka at two different ends of the spectrum. This track creeps along sinuously, exuding a likable ambivalence of quiet sensibility seemingly pregnant with passion barely held in check. The third track “Cross the Atlantic” proves to be a happy medium between the two, retaining and combining these contrary qualities to produce a Latin-inspired concoction.

class="MsoNormal">“The Prime of Life” is truly exceptional, starting off with a somewhat nostalgic, unaccompanied piano arrangement that lends a delicate sense of satisfaction and whimsy before launching into a palpable demonstration of the aptly titled “The Prime of Life”. Although it still retains the established mood of the initial piano, the rest of the song accentuates itself continuously with the incorporation of each musical instrument into the piece. “Groovin’ High” illustrates less Latin influence than its compeers. Matsuoka may have had jazz club performances in mind when he sat to compose this cool and charming piece, as the song seems more fitted for a low lit lounge.  “Nuestra Fiesta” proves the opposite, as its Latin-flavored nature seems more appropriate for swaying hips and timed steps. “Legend of Love” closes this album on a softer note, rendering it all the more memorable.

class="MsoNormal">There is much to be discovered in Naoya Matsuoka’s Emerald. Whatever the occasion, whether private or public, alone or in company, this album will frame that experience with bold panache and gumption.

class="MsoNormal"> 


Track Listing: Emerald; The Deep Sea; Cross the Atlantic; The Prime of Life; Groovin' High; Messenger; Nuestra Fiesta; Django Bop; Legend of Love.

Personnel: Naoya Matsuoka: piano; Getao Takahashi: bass; Akira Sotoyama: drums; Rie Akagi: flute; Koichi Suzuki: trumpet; Shigeharu Mukai: trombone; Hidefumi Toki: saxophone; Tatsuya Sato: saxophone; Hitoshi Hamada: vibraphone.

Title: Emerald | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: HoriPro Entertainment Group


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Reach" CD/LP/Track Review Reach
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Strunkin'" CD/LP/Track Review Strunkin'
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor