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Keiko Matsui – Live in Tokyo

Nov. 7, 2015

For those of you who may have had the misfortune of missing the lovely and mega-talented pride of Japan and one I regard as the hands-Keiko Matsui CD & DVDdown Princess of Contemporary Jazz and World music, Keiko Matsui, during her 2-year Soul Quest tour, you are now given a golden opportunity to not only witness the live music on CD but the DVD of her last live performance on this tour. You can purchase the CD separately, but I’m betting that you won’t want to do that and miss out on some incredible video footage. The DVD includes priceless moments of Matsui backstage and more. In addition, this performance brings Matsui and her band (bassist Rico Belled, drummer Dave Karasony, guitarist JP Mourao and, on this occasion, saxman Tom Braxton) together with sax giant Kirk Whalum and guitarist extraordinaire Chuck Loeb as these two stellar guests put their special touch of this sterling performance and set of songs.

I have personally seen the concert several times since the tour began and have enjoyed it immensely as Matsui always managed to keep the show fresh and so very satisfying by varying the set’s tracks and offering new versions of tracks regularly played.

It is so apropos that the piano/keyboard virtuoso ended the tour in her home country of Japan surrounded by some of the best musicians around. Needless to say, she shines as brightly as any star in the universe on this recording. From the opener “Dream Seeker” to the DVD finale “A Night with Cha Cha” to the CD’s finale “Deep Blue,” this is classic and classy Keiko Matsui, and I know just what kind of fulfilling night it was for each and every audience member.

There is much to enjoy in this 2-disc-and-booklet package. Along with the discs comes a wonderful and informative booklet with some of her quotes and biographical information, special DVD “extras’ like more video performances and a special “Memories” section where the charming and humble artist shares some of her stirring experiences and travels.

This is the consummate CD/DVD set for those who appreciate real, soul-deep jazz and World music as offered by one who is unparalleled in her vision of music. A must-have project. – Ronald Jackson