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.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein