Yukimi & Harvie S, New York Memories Review
New York Memories, the sophomore collaboration between Yukimi Maeda and Harvie S, is a journey through a dining set of jazz. Spanning Great American Songbook standards, jazz classics, and original compositions, the duo traverses this diverse repertoire with a unique touch, creating a charming experience that captures the essence of their musical partnership.
From the first notes, it is clear that the duo’s chemistry is undeniable. Maeda’s piano playing, honed from an early age and refined through classical and jazz studies, melds seamlessly with the seasoned bass playing of S, whose career has seen him work with luminaries such as Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Mose Allison, and Chris Connor. Their harmonious interplay and advanced improvisational repertoire echo a mutual understanding that is intrinsic to their relationship, creating a collection of music that resonates like a soothing jazz performance at an upscale dining establishment.
Maeda and S display a remarkable level of technical skill, navigating their respective instruments with dexterity and precision. From Maeda’s command of harmonic colors in “Misty” to Harvie S’s percussive and chromatic techniques in “Hot House,” their performances are solid in their mastery of their craft and an unwavering commitment to their art.
Their inventive interpretation of jazz standards is another standout feature of the album. Their rendition of “Autumn in New York” with clever chord substitutions offers a refreshing auditory delight. Similarly, the deeply swinging style in “My Shining Hour” and their unique take on the classics “I Hear a Rhapsody” and “Can’t Go Home” showcase their innovative approach to these compositions.
The album is also aplomb with substitutions in the various harmonic progressions. Fluid changes of harmony and melodic colors in “My Shining Hour,” “I Hear a Rhapsody,” and S’s clever harmonic progression in “Next Year’s Song” contribute significantly to the depth and richness of their performances.
The album’s closing track, “Danny Boy,” featuring Sheila Jordan, provides a fitting finale to the record. Here the addition of Jordan’s voice gives a new color, and her interpretation of the melody is gorgeous.
The most remarkable aspect of New York Memories is the potent chemistry between Maeda and S. Their shared improvisational language and the intuitive interplay between Maeda’s piano and S’s bass create an engaging listening experience that is both intimate and expansive.
However, the album has its issues. Notably, there needs to be more consistency in the sound recording quality. Despite this, New York Memories is a noteworthy addition to any jazz aficionado collection.
In conclusion, New York Memories is a compelling and flavorful feast for the ears, akin to a finely curated dinner at a high-end jazz club. Just as a master chef combines ingredients with skill and creativity to create a memorable meal, Yukimi Maeda and Harvie S blend their profound technical mastery, inventive interpretation of jazz standards, sophisticated handling of harmony, and deep musical chemistry to deliver a sonically satisfying album. Even with the inconsistency in sound recording, akin to the ebb and flow of an intimate live performance, the album remains a noteworthy addition to any jazz aficionado’s collection. Serving up a unique blend of intimate solos and engaging duets, New York Memories is a must-listen for anyone seeking to savor the rich flavors of piano and bass jazz. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Harvie S: Website |
New York Memories
February 2, 2023