If the music is the arbiter then the title Fadeless Flower is an apt one. Yoko Miwa has filled it with compositions that are not only drenched in melody but also give the performers a chance to open them and let them bloom. She has the perfect complements in Greg Loughman on bass and Scott Goulding on drums; after all, they are her regular accompanists and have moulded an evident rapport with her.
Miwa gives her tunes enough diversity to make them interesting and enliven the passage of her adventure. The lyrical “Sorrowful Moon” has Loughman setting the pace for her to open on an introspective air that soon finds a firmer, elaborately structured harmonic layer aided by Goulding, whose crispness and judicious use of the cymbals is a distinctive facet. The trio can swing just fine. Listen up to “Black Bunny” and to the interplay between the three. This tune zips without losing its elasticity, a pliant tune that also sees Miwa make use of her left hand to enunciate chords that give the song a firmer body.
The band has a rollicking ride when it gets "Blues in the Cave." Even in that transport Miwa adds a twist, briefly fracturing time accenting with her left hand, and then lets it all flow in an exhilarating run. Goulding and Loughman lock in to seal the captivation. It is a quieter perambulation on "Finding the Sun," where Miwa enunciates her path with emphatic chords. She pushes the parameters, adding tensility and a surge of power as a suffusion of notes come in. But there is no overwhelm; the focus never blurs. "Love" opens the doors to reflective moments, a time of quietly stated beauty. And at the end of it all, there is a feeling that the music will linger in the mind.
Track Listing: Sorrowful Moon; Fadeless Flower; Blues in the Cave; In My Heart; Momentum; Flood of Tears; Black Bunny; Love; Finding the Sun
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.