Back with the Cats
Hiro is a vibrant young jazz pianist/composer with a world-wide appeal: after studying for 9 years on scholarship in the renowned jazz program at the University of North Texas, he has been a sensational addition to the Tokyo and Paris jazz scenes. He has won many awards up to date - in 2004, Down Beat magazine gave him the 'Best Extended Composition' Award. He was a finalist in 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival Bosendofer Solo Piano Competition and was awarded the 3rd Prize by ex-Jazz-Crusader keyboardist Joe Sample. He was among the best 3 in the 'Mightiest Player Contest' (2005), sponsored by 4 major Japanese music magazines and participated by more than 1000 applicants. For his second release, Hiro reunites with his favorite 'cats' from his U.S. days, one of who is Shelley Carrol, a *burning* saxophonist from the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The collaboration was successful, and the album has received many positive reviews: 'Hiro interfaces with his sidemen with his complex yet varied set of tonal colors...but still with a sensitive accompaniment to whatever mood and spirit that's being struck by the band...Very interesting jazz indeed!' (Mr. George W. Carroll, eJazzNews) 'it is truly a great CD and the music speaks for itself. My congratulations! I plan on giving the CD as much airplay as possible.' (Mr. Pete Fallico, KUSP Santa Cruz / KCSM San Mateo) You like Kurosawa movies?? Try track #8, 'Toge' - a dramatic composition which beautifully blends traditional far-Eastern melodies into the sound of a lively jazz quartet bashing some serious grooves. You'll find yourself in a bamboo forest!