This pop-jazz recording by Japanese pianist/keyboardist Keiko Matsui is actually better than many comparable contemporary jazz recordings. The melodies are catchy and charming but rather low-key, most of the pieces are quite atmospheric ("1942, From Russia" sounds like a piece from a Hollywood epic), and several unusual moods (for pop-jazz, that is) are explored. Matsui's piano playing is interesting and adds further substance to the music. The other musicians include various session players (Michael Landau, Lenny Castro, Eric Marienthal) and a few guests like Keiko's husband, shakuhachi player Kazu Matsui (who also produced), and singer Philip Bailey (who appears on one of the two vocal tracks). The Japanese edition includes three bonus tracks: solo acoustic piano renditions of "Water Lily", "Doll" and "Morning Walk", which, while not being particularly essential, offer a different, moodier approach to the music.
This review was written for the All-Music Guide on December 27, 1998.
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