Yoko Miwa

Press

For Interviews with Yoko Miwa: click here

 

One Fan At a Time (Downbeat Magazine, Sept 2017)

Seeing Miwa perform, Tiernan was impressed by her technical mastery and emotional honesty. Read More »


Yoko Miwa’s New Pathways (Color Magazine)

“I was in love,” Miwa said, remembering the first time the jazz bug bit her. “I could hear the freedom of expression in the music and it spoke to my soul. I knew immediately that it was a style of music I had to learn to play.” Read More »


Regattabar Showcase is Pianist Yoko Miwa’s Well-Earned Reward (Boston Globe)

“The new album, “Pathways,” is bright and accessible, largely composed of originals but augmented with selections by Joni Mitchell and the Beatles. Miwa’s technical chops are evident, yet she’s anything but showy; she prizes space in her sound, and leaves room for the deep interplay her group has honed over the years.” Read More »


We were featured in both the January and Spring 2012 digital editions of Jazziz.  Click on the images below to read the full articles.

      

Reviews

 

CD Review: Pathways (from AllAboutJazz – Dan McClenaghan)

“If ever there was a studio recording with the freshness and vitality of a live set, this is it. The group dynamic bounces with joy, and Oscar Peterson and Benny Green come to mind, stylistically, with Miwa’s always engaging melodies dancing around propulsive rhythms. This is Yoko Miwa at her extroverted best.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (by Ken Franckling)

“…an integral force on the area’s thriving jazz scene with her fine, straight-ahead playing and creative spirit. Pathways is Miwa’s first CD in about five years. It stacks up as one of the finest releases to cross my desk so far in 2017.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (by Bill Copeland)

“Each note seems to fall from the sky like a rain drop, a bead that takes on a life of its own within its shiny tone. Her rhythm section must be having the time of their musical lives accompanying her with their racing, throbbing low end notes and their persistently swift drum kit patterns.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from NYS Music: New York’s Music News Source)

“A highly affable experience featuring three seasoned and spectacularly attuned musicians, Pathways is a timeless album that goes down smooth from start to finish.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from Improvijazzation Nation)

“Yoko’s ability to create moods, or bring them back to mind, is simply astounding… and her co-players, bassist Will Slater and drummer Scott Goulding, compliment her keyboards in every way!” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from Music Man Blog)

“The new CD from “The Yoko Miwa Trio” is simply wonderful Jazz. Planist/Composer Yoko Miwa’s performance is nothing short of spectacular! Her sense of melody and phrasing even when improvising is perfect. She plays with clarity and spontaneity even when she is exploring new places in each song. The listener experiences something new in each song and there is the sense that every improvised note is in the right place.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from Jazz Weekly)

“…a take of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” is hiply stretched and grooved to delight. Lots of nice ideas bouncing around her.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (by Midwest Record)

“…this modern piano jazzbo has an eye and ear cocked toward the future—without the speculative, way out touches. A solid album that works throughout, Miwa and her gang know what jaded ears want to defrost with and do a great job of delivering the goods. A sure thing throughout.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (by WTJU, University of Virginia)

“Her style is direct, wonderfully fluid and as melodic as one can be….The performances are terrific throughout!” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (by Sandy Brown Jazz)

“a thoroughly enjoyable album which consistently engages the listener’s attention even on the longest pieces. It easily bears repeated listenings, revealing new dimensions and delights to savour each time.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from Rochester City Newspaper)

“Pianist Yoko Miwa wastes no time letting listeners know that her new album, “Pathways,” is going to be a wild ride.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from The Jazz Writer

“A balancing act of four original songs and four covers, Pathways is a stand-out for piano trio music….The result is a sound that’s fresh, exciting and full of vigor.” Read More »


Live Concert Review: Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Oct. 26, 2017

“Exuding confidence – or more like pride without ego – Ms. Miwa brought her audience into the conversation about her life, her music and her passion for jazz. But when she sat down, fronting the Yoko Miwa Trio – she was all business, delivering a dexterity of command across the keyboard with ease and grace….Backed by bassist Will Slater and drummer Scott Goulding, it was clear that the chemistry of the three-some was going to offer a tight set of potent jazz this evening.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (review from Follow the Soul Trane)

“On her new album, Miwa sets out to navigate a few new Pathways with the help of her longstanding and deeply harmonious trio. With more than a decade and a half together, the Boston-based group showcases the unique ability to wander down diverging trails without ever losing sight of their shared destination.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from AllAboutJazz – Jerome Wilson)

“There’s a mischievous joy in Yoko Miwa’s piano playing that gives a little extra soul to everything she does. Her trio grooves mightily and she definitely sounds worth going to see live if you’re ever in the Boston area.” Read More »


CD Review: Pathways (from Diariofolk)


CD Review: Pathways (from Jazz, Ese Ruido) – La Delicadeza en el Ritmo


Yoko Miwa Trio recorded lovely “Live At Scullers Jazz Club” CD (by Bill Copeland)

Miwa’s original composition “Wheel Of Life” begins with a beautifully understated piano line before soon turning into a larger sound of cascading notes with her rhythm section joining in with their own lovely touches. Miwa has a way of keeping art, beauty, and emotion all perfectly contained in a peaceful expression of colors and tone. It is during these moments of understatement that the listener can truly feel what she was likely feeling when she was composing. Read More »


CD Review: Yoko Miwa Trio: Live at Scullers Jazz Club (2011) (from All About Jazz – Dan McClenaghan)

Miwa displays an impressive stylistic range. Opening with a rousing take of Steve Allen’s “This Could Be the Start of Something,” the pianist and her trio mix a bouncy elegance with a full-bore forward momentum. Miwa treats the melody with reverence, riding a inexorable rhythmic wave supplied by bassist Greg Loughman and drummer Scott Goulding. Virtuosic but unrelentingly accessible, the pianist stretches out, taking eleven minutes to explore this Great American Songbook gem with glorious grace. Read More »


Live at Scullers Jazz Club — Yoko Miwa Trio

Miwa possesses a fully-formed style and shuns flamboyance for substance, making every note count, despite a formidable technique that might tempt her to overplay. Read More »


CD Review: Yoko Miwa Trio – “Live At Scullers Jazz Club”

Yoko Miwa swings from both sides of the piano, and is blessed with a left hand that lends itself to a fully developed playing style that is reminiscent of early stride masters; a dominant strength, no doubt acquired through McCoy Tyner’s influence on Miwa, and also may be traced to be-bop genius, Thelonious Monk, who heavily influenced Tyner. Read More »


CD Review: ‘Live At Scullers Jazz Club’ by Yoko Miwa Trio

 The beauty, and indeed, attraction of this, Miwa’s fifth release, Yoko Miwa Trio- Live At Scullers Jazz Club, is in it’s masterful execution and conception. It’s mood firmly planted in traditional post bop jazz, while acknowledging it’s debt to the standards – the blues (Art Farmers minor blues signature tune, Mox Nix), samba (The Brazilian guitarist, Milton Nascimento’s A Festa) and jazz-pop (Steve Allen’s This Could Be The Start Of Something). But then… Read More »

CD Review: Yoko Miwa – Live at Sculler’s Jazz Club

The trio swings hard on the Steve Allen composition, “This could be the start of something”, closing with a energetic piano/drums call and response. The beautiful ballad “Wheel of Life” is one of Miwa two originals. The chord progression gives the listener a sense of circular motion. The other original, “Silent Promise” also a ballad, is one of the most intimate and sublime moments of the album and reminiscent of movie themes like Cinema Paradiso. Read More »


Issue 119 Reviews

It’s not just her flawless punctuality, it’s the fact that you can “feel” what she’s playing, whether it be an old standard like the opener, Steve Allen’s “This Could Be The Start of Something Big“, or her superb original composition (my favorite on the CD, by the way), “Wheel of Life“… Read More »


Yoko Miwa Trio: Live at Scullers Jazz Club

Miwa’s excellent, light – hearted piano sets a great tone straight from the beginning with “This Could be the Start of Something”, and the fun never stops throughout the CD. The crowd can be heard enjoying themselves, especially with up-tempo numbers like the album opener. Read More »


Yoko Miwa Trio-Live At Scullers Jazz Club

If you’re looking for something different to add to your jazz library, or you’re a music fan who is thinking about trying out jazz, then you want this recording. There is meat for the aficionado, but there is also a lot of fun for the regular listener. You’ll hear some tunes you might know (Lou Reed and Aerosmith, for instance!) but like you’ve never heard them before. Read More »


gapplegate music review

Yoko Miwa Trio, Live at Scullers Jazz Club

On this one the live ambiance clearly gets them cooking. They rip through a nice set of standards and less-standards, along with a couple of Yoko originals, and they do an excellent job throughout.
Read More »


Buy These Albums »

She a has a mean left hand and a restless right one…  Read More »


Jazz Cat Amnesty

Maybe we’ll add that Boston should quit hogging her and let the rest of us see her live once in a while. Simply a first class, straight up, straight ahead player whose sole mission is to step up and deliver the goods, this is solid playing that’s as good as it gets. Read More »

 


Yoko Miwa Trio – Live At Scullers Jazz Club

When it comes to live albums by jazz performers, those recorded within the cosy confines of a smokey jazz club tend to sound the best. The acoustics at the Scullers Jazz Club sound pretty damn fine, and the interplay and musicality of the Yoko Miwa Trio shine through extremely well. The mix of music is surprisingly varied – along with several original tracks by pianist Yoko Miwa, there are selections from Art Farmer, Milton Nascimento and Steve Allen, sitting alongside songs by rock icons Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Lou Reed, which you probably wouldn’t expect to find on a jazz album. Read More »


Jazziz
“Pianist Yoko Miwa displays unpretentious melodies, elegant phrasing, and the lyrical
sensibility of a jazz poet… she’s a remarkably fluent mainstream player with a graceful
touch and a self-assured notion of where each tune is headed.”


JazzReview
“Listening to Yoko Miwa play the piano is like listening to the stars that shine at night
twinkle at various decibels as they frame the celestial bodies in the evening sky with
sound waves of elation and startling beauty.”


James Isaacs
“Yoko Miwa demonstrates a full command of the inner-directed, post-Bill Evans piano
idiom, which also takes in the work of Keith ]arrett and, to lesser extents, Chick Corea
and Steve Kuhn… displays her burgeoning talent as a writer of melodically inviting,
impressionistic material, as well as introducing a technically assured soloist with a clean,
singing sound and an occasional penchant for the blues in pastels.”


Audiophile Audition
The Yoko Miwa Trio – Fadeless Flower (Miwa, piano; Greg Loughman, bass;
Scott Goulding, drums) – Polystar P.J.L. MTCJ-3009: (Release date: June 15)
by John Henry
Another outstanding Japanese female jazz piano star is with us, hard on the heels of the
phenomenal Hiromi (reviewed twice here last month). This is already the second album
as leader for Ms. Miwa, who began her studies with the father of famed jazz pianist
Makoto Ozone, and has served as accompanist to vocalist Kevin Mahogany. In 2001 she
was a featured performer at the Kennedy Center’s “Mary Lou William’s Women in Jazz
Festival.” All nine tracks here are her originals and each has a song-like sense about them
that seem to perfectly fit the album’s titled Fadeless Flower – which is also a waltz-tempo
tune on the album. She observes, “I’m always trying to sing when I play a solo, I mean
sing through my piano phrasing.” Her trio members support her effectively by avoiding
overstating their parts – especially the tasteful drummer. Not all the tunes are so lyrical
however; some are straight-ahead swingers with some active bluesy left-hand chording.
Her clean and singing sound is beautifully transmitted by the high quality recording on
this new-to-me Japanese label.


All About Jazz
“The pianist has an engaging way of repeating a phrase, drawing the listener in before she
lets the melodic flow go free again, telling stories full of concise and beautifully-rendered
ideas…. The variety of styles Miwa commands, while maintaining a start-to-finish
cohesion of sound on Fadeless Flower, is impressive. A gorgeous and unpretentious set
of straight-ahead jazz.”


The Village Voice
“Young mainstream piano trio aim for clean sound, delicate balance, inconspicuous
beauty.”


All Music Guide
“Her second album as a leader is one of the warmest, most unapologetically lyrical
jazz albums of the year… Miwa displays her facility with a variety of styles on this all-
original program….what’s consistently impressive is her ability to deliver complex and
challenging musical ideas in a compelling and yet frequently gentle and inviting way.”


Tucson Citizen
This is trio jazz worth listening to. There is fiber in its congeniality. Like those talks with
Carl Sagan, or more aptly, Leonard Bernstein. True intelligence is never boring.

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