JJazz.Net （2015年6月4日 Vol.614）
『Heart’s Calling/ 平麻美子』
ちなみに、中原美野さんによるJJazz.Netのコラム「JAZZ in NEW YORK#5」の中で、
マーク・マーフィーに師事した平麻美子は、個性味のある独自のスタイルを持つシンガーだ。彼女は、88年にフィラデルフィアのテンプル大学でジャズを学び、99年からはずっとニューヨークで活躍している。今回のアルバムは、12年の『and it begins』に続く第2作目の作品。デュオからセプテットまでいろいろなバックで歌っている。安ヵ川大樹のベース、古谷淳のピアノを中心に個々のミュージシャンの卓越した技量もさることながら、一聴して彼女を中心にしたバンド全員の意思統一の素晴らしさを感じた。彼女の解説を読んで、なるほどと思い、歌に対する真摯な態度に大いに共感を覚えた。日本語の「赤い風船」等10曲を歌っているが、中でも大空を舞う雲雀に託す願いが浮かんでくるような「スカイラーク」、チャレンジングなバラード、11分を超す長尺のジミー・ロールズの「ザ・ピーコック」にノーマ・ウィンストンが歌詞を付けた「ア・タイムレス・プレイス」が強く印象に残った。早く次作を聴きたくなるような歌手だ。 （高田敬三）
The Walker’s（Vol. 42, 9月発売号）
ダイキムジカが2012年12月に立ち上げた新レーベル「D-neo」第7弾となるこの作品は、2012年5月に発表された『and it begins』（DMCD-21） に続く、平麻美子の最新2ndアルバム。 フィラデルフィアのテンプル大学にてジャズを専攻し、在学時代からプロ活動を始める。卒業後に活動の拠点をNYに移し、2002年度「Jazzconnect Jazz Vocal Competition」部門で3位入賞。翌年にはジェームス・マクブライドのグループで全米ツアーに参加という経歴を持つ。「心から求めるもの」というタイトルを付けたこの2ndアルバムでは、独自の世界観を持つ歌声で日本人の音や感性、可能性を追求している。ラストの「赤い風船 」の歌声も秀逸。(加瀬正之)
Last but not least….
ご近所さんでもあり、NYでMamiko 3でベースを弾いてくれているSteve Whippleくん。
Green Dolphin Street、百々チェンジで３管入りっていう曲のタイミングも良かったし。
Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for your support for my new CD, Heart’s Calling since the release date, June 17. After receiving critique’s reviews and your warm, supportive feedback, I finally started to feel the realty: my baby is out in the world! I sincerely thank each one of you who picked up my album!
Heart’s Calling X AUMEO
Hunting Gadgets in Crowdfunding Websites
Crowdfung is becoming an useful business matchmaking platform between inventors/business developers and investors in various level from individual to institutional. It’s getting popular in Japan lately, and is something familiar among musicians, too. I personally enjoy looking at new tech gadgets through sites like INDIEGOGO or KICKSTARTER as shopping sites.
The other day, I was browsing the INDIEGOGO site, and by accident (or by fate?) I found this thing called AUMEO, a portable headphone amplifier. AUMEO is being used paired up with an audio application called AUMEO PLAYER which does a quick ear test to find the most comfortable listening condition based on our hearing sensitivities through checking each ear. Not like existing application that works as equalizer, AUMEO goes one step deeper – optimizing our hearing sound based what each ear can hear. I was totally knocked out by this idea on hearing optimization (or personalization) , and decided to support this AUMEO project as one of funders. Then, an interesting thing came along: Paul Lee, CEO of Aumeo Audio, and I were connected. (How amazing is that?)
Listening to “Heart’s Calling” with AUMEO PLAYER
Because of participating to AUMEO campaign, I was lucky enough to virtually meet Paul Lee of Aumeo Audio. He was kind enough to offer me and one of my fellow bandmate, Miki Hirose to try out AUMEO PLAYER beta. So we have decided to listen to my new album, Heart’s Calling on AUMEO PLAYER and talk about the first impression of this application!
MAMIKO TAIRA (VOCAL)
Mamiko is a New York based Japanese jazz vocalist who’s often referred as “she’s the kind musicians love to play with and audiences love to appreciate” (James McBride, writer). Her voice lingers, and her distinctive musical style reaches beyond jazz listeners. Her 2nd album, “Heart’s Calling” was released on June 17, 2015 from D-neo (Daikimusica) and is available worldwide. She kicks off Japan Tour Fall 2015 from Tokyo stating on October 9.
Mamiko Taira’s “Heart’s Calling” is now available through Amazon Japan and PND Records (ships worldwide).
MIKI HIROSE (TRUMPETER, COMPOSER, ARRANGER)
Miki is a young, talented Japanese trumpeter from Kobe who plays a key role in Mamiko’s music. In a recent release, “Heart’s Calling,” he has done fantastic arrangements on Detour Ahead, Suddenly It’s Spring, Falling In Love With Love. His leader album, “SCRATCH” is an another great jazz CD to enjoy his wonderful music. Please check out.
Taira (“T”): Hi, Miki. Thank you so much for all of your hard work at the recording back in December.
Hirose (“H”): Thank you for the great experience and opportunity! Lake Yamanaka was something, wasn’t it?
T: It was! Air was clean, and…
H: Mt. Fuji in the morning!
T: Mt Fuji right by the window!
H: It was “WOW.”
T: OK. Let’s get to AUMEO. Have you tried it? What do you think of the idea to optimize the sound based on your own ear’s audibility and listening environment?
H: I think it is worthy and appreciative to be able to adjust the sound by each listening environment.
T: Do you have anything specific to talk about?
H: While traveling by train, for example, bass frequencies get cut. This may be a good, potential solution to fill in that “cut frequency.”
T: Indeed. The noise level at NYC subways is undeniably loud, and the bass sounds are sacrificed significantly. I tend to pump up the volume when I ride subways or even just waiting for the subway to come. Suppose my average volume setting while in subways is level 8, I can be OK with level 5 or lower* when the music is played on AUMEO PLAYER. I feel so sorry for my ears! (*vary bet. individuals)
T: Anyhow… which tracks did you listen to?
H: Two albums. One is “Heart’s Calling,” and the other is “Milestones” by Miles Davis.
T: I also have listened to my “Heart’s Calling,” and I picked your “SCRATCH” CD. Maybe it’s a good time to ask since we are talking about my album…. You have done arrangements on 3 songs on this recording. Do you have any story to share?
H: It was a good opportunity to reexamine the relation between the lyric and melody. The drama within the melodies used to be a major focus when I work on arranging, but this project made me aware of the drama driven by melodies and lyrics. That was a new discovery to me.
T: That sounds fantastic and positive.
H: For example, Detour Ahead. That song is one of my favorite song, and I am familiar through listening to some vocalist’s track. It was pretty natural to me to depict the drama through lyrics and melody. That song was finished pretty quick.
T: I think Detour Ahead was tastefully done, and am hoping our listeners like it, too. OK. Let’s go back to AUMEO. So do you find any difference between AUMEO PLAYER and a default audio player on your iPhone when you listened to Detour Ahead and other tracks?
H: I felt each instrument sounded clear and increased the sense of depth. Like…. I can hear the note that I want to hear effortlessly.
T: I felt that I can feel ambiance and depth better with AUMEO PLAYER, and pretty impressed about it.
H: I had tried some other high-res audio player in the past, and it made me tired because I can hear too much. It was weird feel.
T: I think I know what you mean. To hear clear crisp sound isn’t necessarily always the best in terms of listening to the music. Analog applications like good old-fashioned records sound better – particularly when we seek warmer sounds – as an example.
H: It’s only one day since I started to use AUMEO PLAYER. I would love to continue using it to check how that affects my listening (and find if this makes me tired or not.)
T: By the way, I’m purely excited about just thinking of using AUMEO amp and AUMEO PLAYER together. It doesn’t directly relate to the sound, but I also like the sleek design of casing. (see the picture. Can’t help it… It’s really simple and sophisticated!)
H: My current pair of ear buds is not a top notch pair (compared to those high-end ear buds or a headphone), so definitely I’m interested in trying out AUMEO. By the way, it was a pure surprise how much this AUMEO PLAYER alone can change the sound of my OK-quality ear buds!
T: Once you said that it is eye-opening observing today’s technology and its advancement in general. Do you see any impact on us, who create music?
H: Ever since iPod, iPhone and all other MP3 players became the main stream of audio equipment, some people are mourning about the compressed sound of MP3. However, witnessing how much the audio technologies are advancing everyday by people in the field, we, musicians have to keep up with making a good music!
T: I agree. If people can listen to the music in better listening environment, that alone can help, for example, to convey what our engineers have done on mixes and master tracks. That definitely encourages me to make music with love, care, and respect!
T: Miki, thank you so much for taking your time to try out AUMEO. Lastly but not least…. I am not sure the actual timing of it, but I am already thinking of my third album…. and will ask you to be part of it for sure. Yoroshiku Onegai Itashimasu!
H: That is flattering. I will try my best again for the next album!
It’s a well-known fact that everybody hears differently. So why not have your favorite tunes custom-fitted to your ears’ unique hearing? Aumeo, the world’s first tailored audio device, unlocks your best hearing potential by taking audio personalization to a whole new level. By tuning music to your audio profile, this portable device lets you enjoy fuller, richer sound while protecting your ears. Its stylish aluminum chassis designed by Italian design Andrea Ponti is a great plus as well. Check it out today!
I’m getting more and more excited as the date gets closer thinking about upcoming Wednesday’s gig at Lanza’s with Toru and Steve. Simply we haven’t played together quite a while, and I missed them so much! It will be a fun evening – I guarantee.
To give you a heads-up, I will bring my new album, Heart’s Calling. (I have even set up my Square credit card reader, and now can accept both cash and credit card for your payment. How about that?)
Now, here are some background of Wednesday performance that you might be curious to know:
This performance is a part of “Wednesday Jazz Dinner” series curated by Ms. Yuko Ito and presented by Lanza’s. MAMIKO 3 will be the 3rd program they are putting together. It’s a casual dinner show consists of music and dinner in one package, $29.95. This covers music, 1 appetizer, 1 entree, and 1 drink. (I just stopped by the other day, and had a meal there. You are going to have a hearty, Italian meal and your choice of beverage – wine, beer or champagne. I couldn’t finish my entree and ended up taking home!)
Lanza’s is a small Italian restaurant nestles in East Village with a rich history of Manhattan and Italian immigrants. The place was established back in 1904 and is renowned for one of the oldest restaurants in Manhattan. They serve authentic Italian-American classic dishes in Southern Italian flair. If you are one of those flick fans or Woody Allen fanatics, Lanza’s is a featured location in the movie, “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” (check out #4 in this site.)
BTW… mozzarella cheese was served in a perfect room temperature, the way it should be served. It’s always nice to be able to invite you when the music and food are both tasty – you know what I mean? See you on Wednesday, the 24th!
Wednesday, June 24
JAZZ DINNER at LANZA’S (East Village)
168 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009
1st set: 8:30-9:30PM
2nd set: 10:00-11:00PM
Mamiko Taira (vocal)
Toru Dodo (keyboard)
Steve Whipple (bass)
$29.95 includes Music cover and Pre-fix (1 “generous” drink, 1 appetizer, 1 entree)
Special Note from Lanza’s:
Lanza’s appreciates your patronage, and accepts credit cards for the table bill over $45.