Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Akiko Aoki; Pure Imagination

I’d have to lean a bit to call Akiko Aoki a jazz singer. The good news is that she sings worthwhile material and is provided with sensitive, quality accompaniment. She is surely not an improvisational singer, nor does her phrasing fit the jazz mold. But her choices of tunes are delivered with sincerity. That, in my book, would suggest that Aoki knows the “the book” and handles her material with a finely honed flair. Consider some of her selections: “Yesterday I Heard The Rain”, “Two For The Road”, “Pure Imagination”, “Smile”, “No More Blues”, and lots more— thirteen in all. Her colleagues include a very tasty and capable pianist in Tim Ray, a player to keep an eye on. Ms. Aoki is off and running on this, her second album. Self produced; 2022; appx. 57 min.

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