All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Japanese pianist Kayo Hiraki is in search of her audience. She has self-released a smart set of standards in the trio format that is garnering attention from all quarters of the jazz writing world. A ballad specialist, to be sure, Hiraki resists the modern impulse to deconstruct, keeping the tunes intact and in congress with the composers' intentions.
To have been composed by a horn player, Lee Morgan's balladic "Ceora" translates well to the standard jazz piano trio format. Pianist Kayo Hiraki has a light-as-a-feather feel for the piece, presenting it in a straight-ahead fashion, eschewing Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver allusions in favor of her own dependable harmonic ear. Her approach is a light samba, kept mostly in Pat O'Leary's bass and Matthew Crawford's light Latin drumming. Hard bop never was so soft.
Personnel: Kayo Hiraki: piano, Pat O'Leary: bass; Matthew Crawford: drums.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.