Miho Wada is back with another impressive outing, Memphis Dreamin'
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
If Disney land is the happiest place on earth than Miho Wada may be the happiest person and her music is a direct reflection of the joy found in the creative process. Jazz is an umbrella term at best and Wada's music is a retro exploratory of Afro-Cuban meets J-Pop. The music transcends genre with a distinctive contemporary feel and a Pacific rim vibe that no one else can match. Punctuated with a percussive pop flow of melody, Memphis Dreamin' has a retro sound which may have evolved while recording in the legendary Sun studios. Far from a newbie, her resume boasts time with the great Iggy Pop!
"Flying South" has a deceptively subtle melody. Simplicity may well be the ultimate in sophistication but the execution is decidedly complex. Syncopated almost danceable rhythms and a lyrical sense of purpose are all here on this 4 track EP. While Wada handles flute and vocals, the band functions as a true collective pulling off a vibrant sound far larger than what most sextets can find today. Somewhere between contemporary jazz and instrumental pop, Miho Wada has found her true wheelhouse as she creates music on a global scale unencumbered by the traditional expectations from both the listener and the music industry. This is what "free jazz" truly means.
This punk ninja flute goddess is the epitome of what the evolving artist is all about.
Tracks: Arigato; Flying South; Great Train Ride; Time Dance No.1
Personnel: Miho Wada: Flute & Vocals; Pascal Roggen: Violin and Electric Violin; John Paul Keith: Guitars; Ricky Steff: Piano; Dave Roe: Double Bass and Bass Guitar; John Argroves: Drums.