Monday Michiru

Jazz Brat

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With her sophomore effort, American-born Japanese transplant Monday Michiru proved her debut was no fluke. Featuring 12 tracks that lean firmly on the jazz side of the acid jazz fence and a host of New York and Tokyo's finest, Michiru took the vocal arrangements firmly into her own hands and allowed Shinichi Osawa and Jeff Brown to handle the musical charts, and adds the talents of everyone from Cleveland Watkiss, Javon Jackson, and DJ Krush to Hajime Yoshizawa to the mix. Typical of her early records, Michiru moves all over the map, from the driven soul-jazz of "Look Into the Past" to the Brazilian-tinged "Rainy Daze," and "La Flora" (for Michiru's main influence, Flora Purim), to the hip-hopped-up acid jazz shimmy of "Givin' It" to the funky R&B groove of "Sunshine After the Rain." As is true of all Michiru's recordings, the production, song selection (all written by her). and charts are first rate. This is a professional recording job, but so pro it keeps all the emotion inside the mix. The feel is easy, breezy, and in the pocket. And all one can say at the end of the day is that Michiru is no ordinary jazz singer, no ordinary soul singer, no ordinary singer. She's a bona fide diva.

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