25 May 2020

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Masako-Hidden Flowers

Release Date: May, 25, 2020
Label: Independent
I appreciate having a history with an artist, especially one that I can fully appreciate. This is the third Masako recording I have had the honor of covering.

Before the latest Hidden Flowers, I can reach back to 2017 with Piano Sanctuary and to 2019
with Underwater Whisperer.Knowing how much I enjoyed the previous of this talented piano player, it was just a matter of letting the music play. Then once it begins the process of it melting into my soul comes easy and naturally.

Hidden Flowers has twelve tracks of Masako leading the way with her flowing and concise piano style. Once again, the chemistry of recording at Will Ackerman’s studio comes through with the artist going from strength to strength. All production was by Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and Masako.

I think what I always admire the most with Masako is that she handles each composition as an individual piece of art. And even though the approach is that singularly focused, it comes together as one cohesive recording.
 
Tracks like “Observing M31” are light and airy featuring some lovely vocals and some rolling rhythmic piano playing along with some EWI from Premik Russell Tubbs (it sounds like a nice woodwind flute) to give it that extra layer of spice and texture. It is one of the many stand out tracks you will hear on Hidden Flowers.

Then with tracks like “Southbound Flyway,” which are filled with colorful and lively rhythms, which endeavor then succeed to paint a picture. Then you have Jeff Oster’s flugelhorn enhancing the mix to help create that scenery within the mind’s eye. It is undoubtedly the piano that always leads the way however the additional instruments make the tracks more whole and adventurous for potential listeners.

Tracks of beauty are perfected through the ivory keys and presented beautifully on Hidden Flowers. I think the title of the recording my suggest that flowers are hidden within in each song for you, the individual listener, to discover. I stopped to smell their fragrance and elegance once again through the talented fingers of Masako.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 18, 2020

Track List:

01.  Harajuku Memoir
02.  Age of Flowers
03.  Acadia
04.  Remember the Rainy Day
05.  Blossom River
06.  Observing M31
07.  Forgiving
08.  Eternal Bliss
09.  Southbound Flyway
10. Suddenly Cherry Blossoms
11.  Winter People
12. Central Park Retreat 


Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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