Always positioned very much at the high end of contemporary jazz, keyboard player Keiko Matsui is currently garnering critical acclaim with her latest CD ‘Euphoria’. Not surprisingly given the status Matsui enjoys she is joined on the recording by a veritable who’s who of contemporary jazz talent and none more so than for ‘Luminescence’ where she teams with Kirk Whalum on sax and ‘go to’ bass player Alex Al.
Trumpeter Randy Brecker is around to lend Keiko a hand with the jazzily moody ‘Neo’ while elsewhere she slips effortlessly into R & B territory with ‘Love and Nothing Else’ that is lifted in no small measure by Lalah Hathaway’s smooth, and soaring vocals. It is right up there with the best that ‘Euphoria’ has to offer in this respect it is in the good company of the wonderful ‘Steps On The Globe’ that is classic Matsui and then some.
Talking about classic Matsui both ‘The Choice’ and ‘New Passage’ are melodic gems and much the same can be said of ‘Prairie Morning’ that proves to be evocative in the extreme. The title cut, much like the entire collection, is sophistication personified and an entire joy from beginning to end.
‘Euphoria’ is Keiko’s 30th studio album and comes highly recommended.