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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tom Heasley & Toss Panos - Passages – For those who admire purely timbral musics, Tom Heasley and Toss Panos have put together more than an hour of inventive, often original work based wholly on the tuba and percussion. Original because...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues