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The Road...

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 25, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 album from the Jazz pianist. With The Road Keiko Matsui brings her legions of fans on an exotic, sensual journey with influences and grooves from all over the planet. Keiko Matsui's brilliant compositions and exquisite performances fuse jazz, R&B and spiritual as only she can.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shanachie
  • ASIN: B004DK4AL8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,955 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I should begin by saying I am a huge Keiko Matsui fan. I have been looking forward to this release for a very long time and finally, after an almost 4 year wait, we have the new CD, The Road... In fact, I've been anticipating it so much that even though I pre-ordered the CD thru Amazon, I purchased the MP3 album this morning so I could spend the day listening to it waiting for the CD to arrive. It's been playing virtually non-stop for 12 hours, so I feel as though I've experienced it enough to write a solid review.

The more I listened to The Road... the more I realized there are two very defined parts to the album. In the past, it isn't unusual for back-to-back releases by Keiko to be very similar in style and theme. Deep Blue and The Ring / Sapphire and Dream Walk quickly come to mind as examples. The first four songs could easily have appeared on Moyo. They're similar in style and sound and almost feel as though they could have been recorded at the same time as the songs on Moyo. Not that that is a bad thing; not by a long shot. Moyo is a terrific album and the new songs (Secret Pond, Falcon's Wing's, Nguea Wonja, Bohemian Concerto) all stand up very well on their own. To me, Falcon's Wing is the standout of the four. It is easily the best song on the CD.

It's the final five songs (Embrace & Surrender, Awakening, Touching Peace, Affirmation, & The Road...) that we really get a glimpse of what has been going on in Keiko's life the past 4 years as she traveled down her "Road...". I think even the order of the songs offer us insight to her journey as she finds her way through her "hardship" (as she stated in the liner notes).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After nearly 4 years, Keiko Matsui finally releases a new album. This is her 2nd post-Kazu recording (& 22nd overall release in America). Like her previous album, "Moyo" this one also has a number of guest musicians. Some had appeared in her previous recordings like drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Matsui's 2 MCA recordings in the late 1980s), guitarist Alberto de Almar ("The Ring"), & Cameroonian-born musican/vocialist Richard Bona ("Moyo". While others appearing in her songs for the 1st time. Unlike that album, however the horn players are present on just 3 tracks, as opposed to almost half the songs of "Moyo." Thus more room to hear Matsui's piano playing, which is what made me a fan of hers in the 1st place.

Starting with the opener, this album takes us on her musical road, which is, in the words of the great Duke Ellington "beyond category." Her classical roots are present in "Secret Pond" & "Falcon's Wing." "Bohemian Concerto" while not really a concerto pre se is a wonder to the ears. Here Matsui is playing with the present of strings, guitar & accordion as accompaniment (the song is named after a historical region in the Czech Republic).

The African favor that was in "Moyo" is also present here with "Nguea Wonja" (which translates to "take pride in the road you are traveling on your journey"). Co-written by Bona, this track reminds me of West Africa's highlife music, very upbeat & happy. "Embrace & Surrender." on the other hand is more of a straight-ahead jazz ballad with a touch of the blues while "Touching Peace" is a very laid-back song. A chance for Matsui to show off her new age side.

The 3 tracks with a horn player present are also well done.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for the real Keiko to come out from behind the layers of over-production that have hidden her genius up to now. The Road is all I had hoped for. She is passionate and assured, front and center, and plays only acoustic piano. Her mastery of the superior expressive power of the piano is so impressive that I hope she never lets her fingers touch another electronic keyboard. The first thirty minutes of the album pay for all, while the rest is for those who miss her traditional sound. Even the cover photo is special: she looks like a real adult woman, not some precious Japanese doll. This is where to start if you haven't met Keiko-sama, and a not-to-miss for her fans.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD was at least worth getting for a person who really likes this type of music...and with a daughter who plays piano. There were many whispers of past tunes throughout the playlist...but a lot of repetition in the themes and repeating of themes to the point where it was like I have heard this not just before, but a hundred times before. It's good...but not great. I'd wait until this one comes down in price before diving in.
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By 4America on February 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not sure exactly how I found out about Keiko years ago but I really liked her work. I am very happy with this album. I don't have all of her albums so I can't speak to any overlap with older albums. I will say that there are a couple of songs on this album that are just amazing. If you like piano and instrumentals this should definitely be in your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Excellent, I personally received this cd from Keiko on Saturday night after her show at the Blue's Alley in D.C. and could not wait to pop it in and take a listen on the way back to the hotel. I have been listening to the cd for the past couple of days and cannot seem to turn it off. The cd reminds me of the concert, no holding back and just pure musical enjoyment. There's not much more that can be said. Don't hesitate to pick up this cd, it will definitely not disappoint you. Keiko, thank you for a wonderful concert, your wonderful spirit and for sharing your musical talents with the world.
Carlton and Terry Mitchell...
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