Search - Keiko Matsui :: Ring

Keiko Matsui
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

The involving music of Tokyo-born pianist Keiko Matsui occupies a satin-lined cloud that floats among smooth jazz, traditional jazz, crossover classical, and New Age territory, sometimes radiating a winsome beneficence, so...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Keiko Matsui
Title: Ring
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Narada
Release Date: 10/1/2002
Album Type: Enhanced
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Smooth Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724381319802, 0724381319857, 708761747225

The involving music of Tokyo-born pianist Keiko Matsui occupies a satin-lined cloud that floats among smooth jazz, traditional jazz, crossover classical, and New Age territory, sometimes radiating a winsome beneficence, sometimes thundering with complex, ominous beauty. With each successive track, the music acquires interesting new shapes, and it's possible that no two listeners will arrive at the same interpretation of the imagery it evokes. Matsui's works--for piano, small ensemble, and, on occasion, flamenco guitar and small orchestra--are lovely and gentle in spirit. She uses an inviting mélange of styles to articulate her wish for a soothed human condition (the title refers to a symbol for power and its inherent misapplications). These range from an animated jazz piano workout ("Prism") to the cascading, flamenco-tinged "White Owl." By blending improvisation and graceful melody with unexpectedly bold flourishes and surprising textural turns, Matsui effectively strings together 10 tracks that are unpredictable yet attractively cohesive, arranged in storytelling fashion. The result is a 14th career album that yields one of Matsui's most intriguing efforts. --Terry Wood

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CD Reviews

Five stars are not enough for this CD!
William J. Finn | Sarasota Florida | 12/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some artists continue to repeat themselves for a lifetime, many others simply burn out after two or three albums. What I hear in Keiko Matsui seems kind of rare in contemporary music. This new release is a case in point. Still somewhat based on the tribal rhythms of DEEP BLUE, it also has a much jazzier sound in many selections, such as Venus of the Sea, Prism and Messenger. But it is not exactly the same jazzy sound you would have heard in her great SAPPHIRE album either. What you will hear is one of the most unique talents in contemporary instrumental music, who is still evolving musically. As much Keiko as ever, but with as with nearly all of her albums, some new twists as well. Did I say new? Well yes, but based on some wonderful influences. The addition of flamenco guitarist Alberto De Almar created nearly the effect of an updated duet between Antonio Carlos Jobim and say, Henry Mancini on Messenger. There is a subtlety in this CD that is not unlike the Bosa Nova of the 1960's. What ultimately matters however is that this is another terrific CD release from Keiko Matsui who users her heart, mind and hands to create another gem. Credit also to Derek Nakamoto, who again made the colorful arrangements and Kazu Matsui who produces what I would term the "un-cola" in the NAC field. Just way cool. Hip as well."
Very Romantic
Kenneth M. Goodman | Cleveland, Ohio United States | 02/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of three favorite Keiko CDs (Wildflower, Deep Blue and The Ring)
The Ring is the most consistently "romantic," while Wildflower uses electronica best; and Deep Blue stands between them. I would like to give all potential buyers of Keiko CDs some advice I wish someone had given to me: If you want to hear Keiko Matsui at her best; that is, without a lot of distracting vocals and too-smooth saxaphone solos that make you cringe; then, in general, be wary about buying any of her work on the "Shout" label, and buy only from her work on the "Narada" label. Now---let's not forget Whisper From The Mirror: Matsui's most magically magnificent music, with superlative use of bass...Whisper From The Mirror is
More than Smooth
Mark Dayton | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 03/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am fairly new to Keiko Mutsui and her music, and have enjoyed all I have heard. As with all of her albums that I have heard so far, this is a collect of instrumental pieces with a theme that seems to revolve around Nature or cultures that are linked to nature. I guess this album falls in to the smooth jazz category, but the content runs from Modern to New Age to Fusion. Her use of percussion and flamenco guitar to compliment and counter point the piano made me stop and listen to some tracks a second time immediately. I found the enhancement useful with information and adds a kind of intimacy. I am now looking forward to seeing Keiko in a live performance."