The Miho Jazz Orchestra is taking a global initiative in creating a new sound for jazz!
Mystery Banana is stupid good!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Slow and steady wins the race and Miho Wada's exponential growth as an artist seems to be hitting a creative zenith with Mystery Banana. There is an amazing transference of not just harmonic energy but of emotional depth, call it a real musical happy place. Whimsical, ethereal, yet esoterically grounded, Miho Wada creates one of the most unique hybrids in improvisational music that cuts a path that is as wide as it is deep while having what some might consider an uncharacteristically accessible. Simplicity is indeed the ultimate in sophistication.
A wide eyed wonderment seems to eminent from Mystery Banana as compositions run the sonic spectrum from reflections on "Cherry Beer" to the personification of musical joy in "Tokyo Rag Time." The cultural influence is deceptively subtle adding texture and depth but maintaining a distinct uniformity in sound. Focus. A lyrical sense of abandonment that never finds itself jumping the track. Miho Wada can move her ensemble in a myriad of melodic adventures including the stellar "Juxtapagypsy" which embraces a Latin / Gypsy vibe that is simply another golden thread in the harmonic tapestry that is the Miho Jazz Orchestra. Guitars, Violin, Cellos? Chamber jazz with a global back beat!
MJO is often referred to as "Afro-Cuban flute meets J-Pop" and while that may be an easy way out to tag the music, Miho's experience also includes work with Iggy Pop and members of the Buena Vista Social Club. Miho Wada and Mystery Banana transcend labels. MJO is passion. Performer, composer, and teacher has Miho Wada as a certified improvisational triple threat. Her skills on both flute and saxophone have more than earned her the title, "Japenese punk-ninja flautist."
Grab a cherry beer and get happy!
Tracks: Mystery Banana; 12.5 Degrees; Cherry Beer; Grappellish; Equinox; Eerie Night; #4; Juxtapagypsy; Tokyo Rag Time; Mystery Banana (Bonus Track).
Personnel: Miho Wada: Flute & Saxophone; Pascal Roggen: Violin & Electric Violin; James Donaldson: Cello; Andrew Rudolph: Guitars; Leo Corso: Bass; Jared Desvaux de Marigny: Drums.