Tokyo born pianist Keiko Matsui is not just a jazz player. Part of her music is emotionality but also spirituality. This is shown not only by her musical depth but also her very cordial relationship to fans and listeners. Keiko states꞉ Journey To The Heart is my gift to my fans. I want to deliver the most beautiful and emotional experience.

Keiko has composed all songs on the new album. She is accompanied by bassist Carlitos del Puerto, who also produced and arranged this project, drummer Jimmy Branley, guitarist Ramon Stagnero, percussionist Luis Quintero, harmonica player Gregoire Maret and JP Mouran, who plays additional guitar on Carnival.

Moving On opens the window to Keiko's music world with the blissful radiance of a spontaneous energy. She immediately captures the attention of the listener with an incredible flow and groove. The handcrafted sound is authentic, lively and beyond the overproduced music of fellow competitors. The nearness to pianists like Bob James and David Benoit is unmistakable.

Carnival is a festival of merrymaking, amusements, entertainment full of music and dancing. This moment of lightness of being inspires her Latin flavored music reflecting South American zest for life, vitality and exotic savor. The Edge Of Twilight presents the full dynamic range of Keiko's instrument, that she controls with unprecedented virtuosity and vigor.

Butterfly is a sugar sweet ballade filled with flying, fluttering flakes of sound, strings and romance. Tango in Casablanca? From the cultural confusion rises a delightful melody. Gregoire Maret, the highly acclaimed master of the harmonica, blends willingly the atmospheric sound of his instrument with Keiko's sonic concertante piano strikes. On Journey To The Heart Keiko creates from an undemanding melody with an enchanting orchestral arrangement something outside expectations.

Havana Nights brings us back to the Bodegas of Cuba with a deceptively Latin flair performing a blistering Bossa groove. On New Beginning Keiko allows herself to expand into majestic and grandiose music decorated with orchestral strings to a pompous style. Ramon Stagnero on guitar sets emancipative counter-accents.

Two Harbors features Gregoire Maret on harmonica in the lead again. His soul touching performance makes every tune to an audible experience. The final Blue Rose indulges in romantic vibrations with a Waltz like swing.

Keiko Matsui initiates her great musical personality, attitude and talent in this new project. With a premier selection of musicians from outside of the known smooth jazz circle she manages to take the next step on her Journey To The Heart.





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Album Information

Title: Journey To The Heart
Artist: Keiko Matsui
Year: 2016
Length: 0:46:47
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment

01 Moving On [4:45]
02 Carnival [4:35]
03 The Edge Of Twilight [3:23]
04 Butterfly [4:44]
05 Casablanca [5:03]
06 Journey To The Heart [5:14]
07 Havana Nights [4:01]
08 New Beginning [4:54]
09 Two Harbors [5:18]
10 Blue Rose [4:50]

Further reviews:

Soul Quest

The Road

Live In Tokyo