Pianist Takana Miyamoto's remarkable talent hinges on dual strengths: well-developed sensibilities for both rhythm and melody. Her debut recording, "Tree Song," highlights both.
Accompanied by Darryl Hall on the acoustic bass and Woody Williams on drums, Miyamoto explores jazz and a variety of other styles on a release that demonstrates her versality and range. From pretty ballads to Caribbean rockers, the CD delivers an assortment of enjoyable grooves and melodies.
Miyamoto and Williams, regular members of Concord Jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon's band, both were key players in the Grammy nomination earned by Freelon's latest CD, "Soulcall." "Tree Song," similarly, captures the creative spirit of exceptional musicians.
In addition to compelling piano solos, Miyamoto delivers excellent performances on melodica and percussion. The Berklee graduate also proves herself to be an intriguing jazz composer on the CD.
The all-original collection contains full-length songs linked by compelling rhythmic interludes. Highlights include the hypnotic "Some Things Never Change" and straight-ahead "Decision Time," the gorgeous ballad "Foundation of the Present," the Middle Eastern groove of "Mamoun and Alibaba," and the title track, which succeeds in its goal of reflecting the peace, stability and sincerity of trees.