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"Jazz Monthly Feature Interview" Keiko Matsui

keiko matsuiSmitty:  I am so stone fired up about my next guest at  She’s truly loved around the world.  She clearly defines the description of an international artist.  Her music is definitely on another level in terms of inspiration, intensity, and overwhelming appeal. Case in point her magnificent new record that is appropriately called Moyo (Heart & Soul).  Please give a very warm welcome to the lovely and so amazing Ms. Keiko Matsui.  Keiko, how are you?  Welcome to Jazz Monthly.

Keiko Matsui (KM):  Fine, thank you.

Smitty:  Welcome to Jazz Monthly.

KM:  Thank you very much. I’m so glad to be here.

Smitty:  Yes, I’m so glad to have you here. It’s always great to talk with you!

KM:  Thank you.

Smitty: I can say with certainty that your great new record has a very special place in my CD player.

KM:  Oh, that’s a great comment.  Good to hear.  Thank you very much.

Smitty:  Oh, you’re so welcome.  And, you know, I could tell in listening to this record….a lotta times people will ask you “Well, what were you feeling when you made this record or when you did this song?”  But whatever those feelings are when you did this new record, I could tell that there was just a great deal of excitement….

KM:  Mm-hmm.

Smitty: .…and a lot of deliberate emotions with this record.

KM:  Yeah.  Yeah, there was. Yes, I’m feeling lots of passion and lots of emotions and lots of great moments.

Smitty: Very cool.

KM:  And I felt like with making this album.…the progress of this album, I had a great time, it’s a really special time.

Smitty:  Yes, now, you went to South Africa to record a lot of this record, right?

KM:  Hmm, yes.  Before that I went to South Africa to start composing.

Smitty: Yes.

KM:  And I went there for two weeks, about two weeks there, and some tunes came to me in South Africa and I went back last September to start recording and we had a great rhythm section in South Africa.

Smitty:  Oh wow, yeah.

KM:  We started from there.

Smitty:  Yes, I tell ya, that rhythm section was incredible.  Man!

KM:  Mm-hmm, really special, very unique style too.

Smitty:  Yes indeed.  When I first listened to the record, I played each song two or three times before I could move on to the next song, you know?  It was that good.

KM:  Really?

Smitty:  Yes, it was that good.

KM:  Oh wow, nice to know that.

Smitty:  Yes, and I love all the great players that you had from the U.S.:  Gerald Albright, and you got to hang out with your long time friend again, Paul Taylor.

KM:  Yeah, we had like a kind of reunion type of feeling and because of each tune, I searched for a special person and that was them, and it’s so nice to work together again and, yeah, everybody has such very special talent, so I was very fortunate.

Smitty:  Track #8 “Allure” featuring Gerald Albright on sax is one of my favorite songs and I love “Black River” featuring Paul Taylor on Sax. What a great song!

KM:  Thank you. Actually, you know, I’m at the rehearsal studio and I’m going to the Ukraine tomorrow and this is the first tour in this year and I’m going to add “Black River” first.

Smitty:  Oh wow, how ‘bout that?

KM:  Yeah, so we are going to practice today.

Smitty:  Hey, I know how to pick ‘em, huh?

KM: Yes.  (Laughs.)


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