Tuesday, July 31, 2018

NYC-based pianist MICHIKA FUKUMORI’S “PIANO IMAGES,” a solo project produced by Steve Kuhn

PIANO IMAGES is pianist MICHIKA FUKUMORI’s third release and second for Summit Records. A native of Japan, she’s been living in New York City since 2000. She was drawn to the U.S to study jazz and become involved in the New York jazz scene. A soulful pianist, this CD is a solo project featuring Fukumori playing mostly stunning original compositions as well as several of her favorite jazz standards. PIANO IMAGES was produced by STEVE KUHN, the prolific pianist known for his lyrical and evocative playing. Fukumori has been studying privately with Kuhn since coming to the States. Kuhn also produced Fukumori’s other CDs, Quality Time, released in 2016, and Infinite Thoughts, released in 2008.

Fukumori composed eight of the 13 tunes on this disc. Her compositional style is like her style of playing, that is, sensitive and inventive with a subtle sense of swing. She performs compositions by Jobim, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and a piano duet with Kuhn on one of his compositions, on which Fukumori and Kuhn play a lush four-handed duet. At the heart of this project is “The Seasons,” a suite of four compositions in which Fukumori, drawing from her childhood memories, paints a picture of Iga, Japan, her hometown.

Fukumori is a superbly sensitive pianist who has fully embraced the jazz idiom but suffuses the music with her own personality and cultural heritage. PIANO IMAGES is a series of musical portraits by an artist with a refined sensibility and the skill to embrace you with her musical vision.

Michika Fukumori  piano; Steve Kuhn  piano duet on #11
Arranged by Michika Fukumori; Produced by Steve Kuhn

1. Colors Of Blues  (3:17)
2. Into the New World  (4:17)
The Seasons
3. The Answer Is … (Winter)  (3:52)
4. The Story I Want To Tell You (Spring)  (5:11)
5. The Days We Were Smiling (Summer)  (4:50)
6. Tomorrow Is Full Of Promises (Fall)  (2:21)
7. Where Or When  (2:59)
8. Palco (A Little Dancer)  (4:57)
9. Chovendo Na Roseira  (4:27)
10. My Muse  (3:55)
11. Oceans In The Sky  (5:46)
12. Luiza  (5:00)
13. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye  (2:47)
VIDEO: Watch “The Story I Want to Tell You” – Live at the Blue Note: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8

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