Pianist Keiko Matsui's 14th studio release is the first that has an overall theme. The Ring
is dedicated to provide a message of compassion, humanity and peace in a world that has been troubled by the events of September 11th, 2001. Matsui has hit the nail on the head with ten tracks that spotlights the complicated aspects of living in the 21st century. Each track brings about an emotion of human bonding where life's different sides are shown musically.
Matsui continues to craft her art on a music pallate where it is alright to show struggle and passion in everyday life. Venus of the Sea
has become an instant hit on smooth jazz radio with its feel of strength. Prism
helps to bring a way out of the everyday routine of work life. You hear strong emotion in Steps of Maya
, but you also hear moods of reflection in The Next Plateau
also show the best of times and the worst of times in a person's life. Messenger
helps us show the need for rest in our hurried times. White Owl
gives the feeling of being free from it all. If you could put today's world into an entire CD, Keiko Matsui's The Ring
is the one.
As usual, Matsui's release is a work of art. She takes the time to make it right and it shows in how the music flows from track to track. It is hard to believe that she has done 14 studio releases because each one is better than the last. The Ring
has gold all written on it, but it is very easy to catch and get hooked.