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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ars Nova - Transi – Transi is the second release from this Japanese trio, fronted by talented keyboardist Keiko Kumagai. Writing all the music and commanding an arsenal of analog and digital keys, she leads the group...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues