Exposé Online banner

Yoko Miwa Trio — Pathways
(Ocean Blue Tear Music, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-10-09

Pathways Cover art

When I think about jazz pianists I’ve covered on this site, I find many who are brilliant technicians capable of great feats of speed and complexity, several who are sonic explorers utilizing the instrument in ways you don’t learn in piano lessons, and some who bring harmonic innovations ranging far from the blues. Yoko Miwa is none of those. She is solidly in the realm of traditional jazz, though she does dabble in more modern material, including Beatles and Joni Mitchell interpretations. Her chording rarely ventures beyond relatively conventional textures, and often sticks to gospel inflected voicings, as on the opener “Log o’Rhythm.” With “Lickety Split” she proves herself capable of more advanced harmonies, though with “Court and Spark” she returns to simpler fare, as fits the folk-based nature of the composition. Miwa’s cohorts in this endeavor are bassist Will Stater and drummer Scott Goulding, and they fill their roles effectively, taking the occasional solo in classic jazz piano trio form. You’ll get none of the boundary-pushing of the Bad Plus or Chat Noir, but that is not Miwa’s aim. Throughout, it is her sense of melody that shines, with lyrical solos that flow naturally and fluidly. In this review, I feel I’m in danger of being accused of damning with faint praise, but I want to emphasize that I really do like Pathways. Yoko Miwa is a very melodic pianist, firmly based in conventional harmonies, but with a charm and sense of joy and fun that draw from history without being totally constrained by it.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Yoko Miwa

More info
http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/yokomiwatrio2

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tim Burness - Finding New Ways to Love – Tim Burness is an English neo-progressive composer who has existed under the threshold of most music consumers’ radar. The childlike toy count into the first piece, “Open Man,” is an appropriate...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues