Review of Keiko Matsui’s Album Soul Quest

On July 30, 2013, keyboardist Keiko Matsui will release Soul Quest (Shanachie Entertainment), a celebration of 25 years of recording in the US and her latest album as a solo artist. Soul Quest spotlights an all-star cast of players such as producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden, guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, bassist Marcus Miller, and more.

The album features ten diverse compositions inspired by Keiko Matsui’s experiences touring the world, so it’s no small wonder that the various songs on Soul Quest were recorded all across the globe in New York, Japan, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Eastern Europe.

The album opens with “Dream Seeker,” written by Chuck Loeb and Matsui with the addition of Andy Snitzer on saxophone. Following the opening track is the album single, “Black Lion,” inspired by a painting Keiko saw while on tour in Georgia. At the time of writing, “Black Lion,” the first single from Soul Quest is already rising in the Billboard Smooth Jazz Charts (as of today, the track is #14).

“Top Secret,” the third track on the album, is another collaboration with guitarist Chuck Loeb. In fact, Loeb co-wrote three of the songs on the album with Matsui and produced five. In addition to “Top Secret” and “Dream Seeker,” Chuck and Keiko also co-composed “Two Hearts,” a funky, laid back track. Fourth on the album is “A Night with Cha Cha,” featuring saxophonist Kirk Whalum, a piece that was also influenced by her tour across Europe and probably my favorite track from the recording with it’s catchy hook, percussion, and energetic ending.

In addition to Chuck Loeb, Narada Michael Walden was another big contributor on the album, working with Matsui to create “Moving Mountain,” “Antartica – A Call to Action,” and “Stingo,” a tribute to Sting and the closing track on the project.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Keiko Matsui has been quite the prolific recording artist – she has more than 20 album releases to her name. She began playing piano at the age of 5 in Tokyo, Japan, and at the age of 19, she traveled to the US to record her first album, Drop of Water. Since, she has appeared numerous times in the Top 10 Billboard charts and she has received several awards and recognition for her work as an artist.

Get Soul Quest on Amazon

Title: Soul Quest
Artist: Keiko Matsui
Date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment

Tracks:

01 Dream Seeker (ft. Chuck Loeb)
02 Black Lion
03 Top Secret (ft. Chuck Loeb)
04 A Night with Cha Cha (ft Kirk Whalum)
05 Moving Mountain (ft. Narada Michael Walden)
06 Antartica – A Call to Action (ft. Marcus Miller & Kirk Whalum)
07 Soul Quest
08 Proof (ft. Chuck Loeb)
09 Two Hearts (ft. Chuck Loeb)
10 Stingo (ft Narada Michael Walden)

Get Soul Quest on Amazon

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Published on: July 19, 2013

Filled Under: Reviews

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