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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Canopy of Stars

P.J.L.Polystar Jazz Library - MTCJ-3020



1. La Estacion
2. Canopy of Stars
3. Solitude
4. Borders
5, Waltz for Willy
6. Tango Soledad
7. Appalachian Trail (North)
8. Behind the Clouds
9. Secret Sources
10. The Silver Screen
11. Appalachian Trail (South)
Yoko Miwa – Piano
Massimo Biolcati – Acoustic bass
Scott Goulding – Drums
Bronek Suchanek – Acoustic bass (tracks 3, 8) 

At last year's San Javier Jazz Festival, I heard Hiromi for the first time. Despite the glowing reports I had heard, I found her flat-out assaults on the piano not to my liking at all. There was no warmth or beauty in her music for me, although I must confess many in the audience thought it was wonderful. 

I had not heard of Yoko Miwa before hearing this record and thinking that she probably had a similar background, I prepared for the worst. I was right about the similar background. Both pianists came from Japan and both attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. The music however is totally different. Hiromi’s all-out assaults on the piano could not be less like the gentle melodic approach of Yoko. She describes her playing as singing through the piano and it’s a good description. She is a fluent mainstream player, with a gentle touch and the ability to sound very self-assured. 

It reflects great credit on Berklee College that two such different keyboard talents could be nurtured through the same channels. 

I would have liked to hear her play a couple of standards in the programme to enable me to compare her interpretations with those of others. Each of her compositions is interesting and accomplished, but I don’t expect to hear anyone else play any of them in the next year!

Both bass players and drummer Scott Goulding seem to understand her mission in jazz and provide appropriate and effective support. 

If she plays a concert anywhere near me, I shall go to hear it!

Don Mather




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