7 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Two superstars of the contemporary jazz circuit, Bob James and Keiko Matsui combine their formidable skills on Altair & Vega. Matsui’s known for her spiritual and naturalistic vibe, referencing outer space and the elements while exploring multiple styles (smooth jazz, funk, new age). James put out his first record in 1962, but he’s best known for a long string of instrumental hits in the '70s and '80s (most notably the Taxi theme, "Angela,” as well as "Nautilus" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," both of which have been sampled by an wide array of hip-hop producers). Fittingly, the album’s title references two of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The seven songs here are straight piano with no outside instrumentation, and for the most part they’re mellow, dreamy, and peaceful. "Divertimento" picks up the pace a bit, while "Midnight Stone" and "Invisible Wing" feature flourishing melodies and multiple changeups. More classically minded than some of their other work, it's still an enjoyable listen from two legendary performers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Two superstars of the contemporary jazz circuit, Bob James and Keiko Matsui combine their formidable skills on Altair & Vega. Matsui’s known for her spiritual and naturalistic vibe, referencing outer space and the elements while exploring multiple styles (smooth jazz, funk, new age). James put out his first record in 1962, but he’s best known for a long string of instrumental hits in the '70s and '80s (most notably the Taxi theme, "Angela,” as well as "Nautilus" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," both of which have been sampled by an wide array of hip-hop producers). Fittingly, the album’s title references two of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The seven songs here are straight piano with no outside instrumentation, and for the most part they’re mellow, dreamy, and peaceful. "Divertimento" picks up the pace a bit, while "Midnight Stone" and "Invisible Wing" feature flourishing melodies and multiple changeups. More classically minded than some of their other work, it's still an enjoyable listen from two legendary performers.

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