Keiko Matsui

Under Northern Lights

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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.

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