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LIVE REVIEWS

Yoko Miwa Trio at Scullers

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Yoko Miwa Trio Scullers Jazz Club Boston, MA October 26, 2017 Inside Scullers' new smaller jazz nightclub downstairs, with its dark wood interior and low light, it would be quiet except for the wonderfully energized and spirited enthusiasm that internationally acclaimed pianist and composer Yoko Miwa brings to the stage. Exuding confidence--or more like pride without ego--Ms. Miwa brought her audience into the conversation about her life, her music and her passion for jazz. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yoko Miwa Trio: Pathways

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Yoko Miwa is a pianist operating in the Boston area whose stylistic reach touches on funky gospel, bluesy bebop and dramatic pomp. She and her long time trio jump out nicely from the first track, the surging gospel rhythms of Marc Johnson's “Log O'Rhythm," drummer Scott Goulding providing a solid shuffle foundation to Miwa's pounding. They also have fun cascading up and down on another Johnson tune, “After All" later on the disc.Miwa's original melodies on this disc ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yoko Miwa Trio: Pathways

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It sounds like Boston-based pianist Yoko Miwa gathered her trio mates--bassist Will Slater and drummer Scott Goulding--outside the studio door and said: “Let's have some fun!" The result is Pathways, her seventh release as a leader, in a discography that includes Fadeless Flower (Self Produced, 2004), Canopy Of Stars (Self Produced, 2007, and Live At Sculler's Jazz Club (Self Produced, 2011). If ever there was a studio recording with the freshness and vitality of a live set, this ...

JAZZ POETRY

Mind

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For Yoko MiwaShe knocked me out for a yeartook me to the tombsof Egypt, where she embalmedthe brains of the first tribeof jazz... with kindest careshe put them in their jarslabeled calligraphicallywith multi-colored lettersindicating Duke and 'Tranein a quicksand of sadness they reign,under her sash of silkin all her sweet milk,nursing it all in ...

JAZZ POETRY

November (for Yoko Miwa)

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On the ebony off-keys, your hands,your head in a veil of black mist, tonicto your turquoise evening gown. Poised as a turtle dove on an eave,you press an index finger on the ivory,liberating a passel of scales zooming down like falcons in a swarm,your colony and command,to a Japanese baseball diamond playing field for a perfect game,blossoming cherries shaking

INTERVIEW

Yoko Miwa: New Star in an Old Sky

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Self-effacing but with healthy ambition--and genuinely glamorous--pianist Yoko Miwa is a shimmering study in contrasts. Her music is loyal to sources and roots, yet it is fresh and sexy. Everything is in balance in her work. On a most elemental level she is like a graceful hostess at a grand party, catering to the desires of all; on a deeper level she is an architect. Imagine, far from her native Kobe, Japan, a dilapidated ballroom, say, in Detroit. Say it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yoko Miwa Trio: Live at Scullers Jazz Club

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Is live always better? Does the no second takes, out-on-a-limb aspect of playing in front of a live audience, and feeding off its energy result in the best recordings? It seems to work that way for Boston-based pianist Yoko Miwa on Live At Scullers Jazz Club, a mix of tunes from The Great American Songbook and the world of rock, shuffled in with her own outstanding compositions. An original pressing of a hundred copies of the show--done as a memento ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yoko Miwa Trio: Canopy of Stars

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Born in Kobe, Japan but now a Boston area resident, pianist Yoko Miwa offers up another tasty collection of originals for her third release. She is accompanied by her longstanding trio of bassist Massimo Biolcati and drummer Scott Goulding, drums with bassist Bronek Suchanek subbing on two tracks.

In a typically interesting series of tunes, the ballad “Solitude" (not the Duke Ellington standard) begins with bassist Suchanek's arco statement and solo. A variation of that composition “Tango Soledad," ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yoko Miwa: Canopy of Stars

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Japanese-born, Boston-based pianist Yoko Miwa follows up her 2004 release, Fadeless Flower (Polystar Records) with A Canopy of Stars, building on her crisply incisive percussive approach that bubbles with warm melodies and an array of colors, whether on the bright Brazilian-flavored opener, “La Estacion," or the melancholic, dark-hued “Solitude," which features bassist Bronek Suchenek bowing the melody. Miwa takes the same tune and remakes it into a tango--handling the melody herself--on “Tango Soledad."Miwas's more abstract side is displayed ...


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