Kazu Matsui presents a sterling collection of songs recorded over a five-year period in the '80s at a time when he was perfecting a sound then known as quiet storm. The 16 tracks on Pioneer feature guest appearances by such well-known artists as Paul Jackson, Jr., Eric Marienthal, Robben Ford and his award-winning spouse, pianist Keiko Matsui. The recording also features a variety of vocalists on 15 of the tracks who infuse new life into such songs as "Sunset and the Minstrel" and "The Direction You Take." As a composer of motion picture scores, Matsui gained notoriety after playing the shakuhachi flute on such great soundtracks as Shogun, Willow, and Legends of the Fall, among others.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein