Miki Hayama establishes an identifiable cadence in her piano language in Wide Angle. Her trio behaves as one organism; Hayama offers the fearless heartbeat.
Hayama composed eight of the ten pieces on the recording. The rigorous tempos, even when moderate, bond the three instruments. The precision with which Hayama addresses the piano demonstrates her fascination with the minutest detail. Her strength lies in the quality of her treble arpeggiation ("What's Next") through which progressions she plants bass chords frequently and out of which she develops phrase posturing and alteration ("Flying Horses"). Her pieces center on moving from the beginning to the end in one fluid motion. Hayama takes many turns, never deviating from the assertion of her direction. The drums and the bass not only stretch her lines into extrinsic timbral regions but also strike amazing unisons with Hayama's bold direct fingering.
Bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa displays instrumental facility on a par with Hayama's pianistic prowess. Drummer Victor Lewis can spring away from the piano's line adroitly with the drum version of how the piano constructs the music, tatting on the snare skin or edge or ornamentally echoing Hayama's notes on the cymbal. His playing is light and a perfect companion for Hayama's refined feminine touch.
Track Listing: What's Next?; Flying Horses; Another Angel; Horizon; Who Cares?; Sound
Of Migration; Freight Trane; Dismissed; Up & Down; A Time For Peace.
Personnel: Miki Hayama: piano; Kiyoshi Kitagawa: bass; Victor Lewis: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.