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Under Northern Lights

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Album Review

Matsui's major label debut combines everything from chamber like organ effects ("The Ruins of Sonora") to punchy sax driven pop ("Mountain Shakedown") to orchestral film score sweeps ("The Gate") in expanding her palette further beyond Eastern sounds. Poetic, image laden pieces dominate, but her chops as a keyboardist are tested on more exotic solos. It's another all star affair, with Eric Marienthal, Brandon Fields, Robben Ford, Abe Laboriel, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Grant Geissman pushing Matsui into the big leagues of pop jazz. There's even a slight Latin excursion. The vocals this time are handled by Howard Smith and Phyllis St. James.

Customer Reviews

Under Northern Lights

Keiko Matsui is a truly awesome jazz artist!! If you haven't heard any of her music, and you are into Jazz, you will fall in love with this album!!


Born: Tokyo, Japan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Fusion/new age keyboard player Keiko Matsui grew up in Tokyo and took her first piano lesson at the age of five. Influenced by Stevie Wonder and Rachmaninov as well as early fusion masters Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea, Matsui began composing while in junior high but studied children's culture at the Japan Women's University (Nihon Joshidaigaku). She moved to the Yamaha Music Foundation in Tokyo after graduation and formed Cosmos, recording four albums with the new age group. Her first album as a...
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Under Northern Lights, Keiko Matsui
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