MICHIKA FUKUMORI — Piano Images

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MICHIKA FUKUMORI - Piano Images cover
4.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2018

Filed under Post Bop
By MICHIKA FUKUMORI

Tracklist

1. Colors of Blues
2. Into the New World
3. The Seasons: The Answer is...(Winter)
4. The Seasons: The Story I Want to Tell You (Spring)
5. The Seasons: The Days We Were Smiling (Summer)
6. The Seasons: Tomorrow if Full of Promises (Fall)
7. Where or When
8. Palco (A Little Dancer)
9. Chovendo na Roseira
10. My Muse
11. Oceans in the Sky (in four hands)
12. Luiza
13. Every Time We Say Goodbye

Line-up/Musicians

Michika Fukumori: piano;
Steve Kuhn: piano (11)

About this release

Summit 725 (US)

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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MICHIKA FUKUMORI PIANO IMAGES reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
It seems like only yesterday when I was reviewing the previous Michika Fukumori album, “Quality Time”. Apparently Michika does not like to sit still for long because her new one is already here, “Piano Images”. Whereas “Quality Time” was a piano trio date, “Piano Images” is just Fukumori on the piano by herself, and to hear it you can tell she creates a full sound on her own, and in many ways really excels in this sort of solo setting. The music on her new one is slightly different too, while “Quality Time” dealt with a refined and elegant approach to jazz blues, on “Piano Images” we still hear some of that, but we also hear more of her classical background and more of the contemporary lyrical influence of her mentor, Steve Kuhn.

“Piano Images opens with a couple of Michika’s trademark sophisticated blues numbers, with “Colors of Blues’ being particularly striking as the blues alternate with drifting abstract passages reminiscent of French impressionism. Its on the following four Michika originals, grouped together as “The Seasons”, that we hear more of the classical influence in her writing. Much like Gershwin and Ellington before her, Michika seamlessly fuses jazz and classical elements so that they speak together. This classical and jazz blending will also show up on later tracks such as “Palco” and “My Muse”. On the Steve Kuhn original, “Oceans in the Sky”, Steve joins her on piano for some four handed dense, but lyrical tone colors.

Other highlights on here include two A.C. Jobim numbers, which impart a feeling of longing, and a couple of standards. “Every Time We Say Goodbye” is given an original arrangement as Michika provides a flowing counter melody to the original tune. Very much in the style of pianists such as Keith Jarret, Brad Mehldau, and the aforementioned Steve Kuhn, Michika tends to keep the melody in mind as the focus of her solos. Most of her improvisations are concise and to the point, and she is not one to give into pointless flash or excess. The appeal of this album goes beyond jazz and could probably appeal to fans of 20th century classical, as well those who enjoy instrumental art song as well.

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