Album Remarks & Appraisals:
This album was recorded in New York, commemorating Miho's graduation from the master course at Manhattan School of Music. Except on one cover tune of Lady Gaga, all other songs are Miho's original compositions, and the album features her talent as a jazz composer. Leading her own 13-piece unit and having the guest participation of Steve Wilson and Stefon Harris, she expresses vivid and lively sound on Journey To Journey.
Journey to Journey is big and busy music. New York-based, Japanese-born Miho Hazama employs more than a dozen musicians on this recording and she keeps them active. The composer and arranger has a taste for contrasting swaths: rushes of string swells and blasts of woodwinds and brass, cool vibraphone (guest Stefon Harris) and punctuating piano statements, hot flashes of drum. There's an underlying, constant intensity even during the quieter sections.
But although Hazama favors drama, she also values swing, suavity and especially dynamics; for all of its movement, Journey to Journey never gets lost within itself. In eight originals of the Maria Schneider school and one Lady Gaga cover ("Paparazzi," virtually Nelson Riddle-ized), Hazama and her classy large ensemble keep the listener guessing - and enchanted.
Personnel: Mark Feldman , Joyce Hammann (violin); Lois Martin (viola); Meaghan Burke (cello); Ryoji Ihara (flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Cam Collins (clarinet, alto saxophone); Andrew Gutauskas (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Philip Dizack (flugelhorn); Bert Hill (French horn); Sam Harris (piano); James Shipp (vibraphone); Jake Goldbas (drums).
Liner Note Author: Miho Hazama.
Recording information: Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY (07/02/2012/07/03/2012).
Director: Jim McNeely.
Photographer: Miho Aikawa.