Acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui's transcendent and haunting melodies have long sought to build bridges. Her sonic cultural exchange has reached the hearts and minds of fans throughout the world and has allowed the pianist to work alongside icons Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Hugh Masekela and Bob James. “I would like my music to be a conduit for peace, kindness, love and light,” shares the petite, soft-spoken, yet commanding pianist. She adds, “My recording Echo is my attempt to capture all of these elements into the vibration of sound.” On February 22, 2019 Keiko Matsui will release her 28th recording as leader, Echo, which she co-produced with Grammy nominated producer Bud Harner. A master storyteller, Matsui crafts exquisite compositions replete with lush harmonies and global rhythms to create timeless musical anthems. Like iconic musicians Miles Davis and Shirley Horn, Keiko is also a master at utilizing space in her music to create a backdrop of drama, tension and sheer beauty. Keiko’s most inspired work yet, Echo features numerous special guests including bassist Marcus Miller, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, guitarist Robben Ford and bassist (and son of Clint Eastwood) Kyle Eastwood. The all-star line up also showcases premiere recording musicians drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist, Jimmy Johnson and guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. and percussionist Luis Conte, as well as Keiko’s top notch touring band, Jimmy Branly, JP Mourão and Rico Belled. ...
“While composing the songs on Echo, I had a feeling of gratitude and a sense that there were infinite possibilities,” reflects Keiko Matsui. “This music is close to my heart because it is a celebration of the joy of the imagination, the strength of courage and the endurance of faith. It is about romance and a reminder to honor all living things.” There is a grace and spirituality about Keiko that permeates her music and very essence. Listening to Echo, you feel as if you are transported on a journey as the music unfolds like ten sweeping movements in a rapturous suite. The prolific Matsui composed 100 motifs for the recording that eventually were narrowed down to the songs featured on the CD.
Echo ceremoniously opens with a trippy drum and bass that catapults into Matsui’s reggae-tinged “Unshakeable.” Backed by nonet, with a blazing horn section, Keiko’s punctuated dancing lines add fuel to this exhilarating number. The intriguing “Moon Over Gotham” shines light on Keiko’s unrivaled ability to create delightfully memorable melodies. This swinger features a flugelhorn solo from Wayne Burgeron. Bass extraordinaire Marcus Miller shares the spotlight with Keiko on the CD’s title track. Miller was featured on Keiko’s 2013 recording Soul Quest on her anthem for global warming “Antarctica.” Keiko admits to being a long time Marcus Miller fan.