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ALBUM REVIEWS

Makiko Hirabayashi/Flemming Agerskov: Binocular

Read "Binocular" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Binocular is an extraordinary piece of musical art. Pianist Makiko Hirabayashi has a distinct, recognizable style of composition and performance. Her music has a kind of floating quality created by melodic phrases and lines which imply tonality rather than stating it, phrase lengths and rhythmic accents which further weaken any overt tonality, plus a piano and pedal technique which many times overlaps notes, creating many high overtones that add a shimmering envelop to the sound. She ...

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Makiko Hirabayashi: Surely

Read "Surely" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Surely, the pianist Makiko Hirabayashi Trio's third album, is both utterly captivating and immediately enjoyable. It is also, however, rather disquieting to anyone who listens more deeply because this music flatly refuses to be pinned down. Here, the whole is much more than the sum of the parts, but the parts remain in paradoxical relation to each other. For sure, the question, “What is Jazz?" will not be answered by Surely. Hirabayashi's, and by extension, the Trio's, art ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Makiko Hirabayashi: Makiko

Read "Makiko" reviewed by Jay Deshpande

Makiko Hirabayashi may be the ideal emblem of today's multicultural jazz musician, caught in a web of influences. Born in Tokyo and educated in Boston, Hirabayashi is now a major pianist in Denmark, where she resides. Her debut album signals this globalism, presenting her with two top-notch Danish players on her own compositions.Makiko showcases a careful choice of tones and sounds, all of which add up to a common texture: cloudy, occasionally mystifying, and most frequently somber. “Camel ...


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