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First off, let me say I am not one for "ageism". We are all exactly as old as we are and there ain't no use in arguing it. Let me also say that when I first met Keiko (the last concert I hosted before the pandemic) I thought she was stunningly beautiful with the sexiest stilettos ever. She looked, at best, 39.

She is, in fact, 61.

But here's the thing: she plays piano with the technical expertise of a well-traveled 61 year-old and the exuberant joy of an uncompromising 39 year-old (not that 61 year-olds can't also possess uncompromising exuberant joy). And that is a win/win for all of her happy fans. “This album is about the hope that we all carry inside of us,” she says, adding “I have this dream where we can each cherish our own happiness and learn to accept and care for one another.”

The lead-off single, "Steps on the Globe", sets the optimistic tone with a powerhouse vibe that speaks to Keiko's cool confidence and charming chops. Kirk Whalum makes a guest appearance on “Luminescence”, lighting up the album with sparkling sax. "Love and Nothing Less", featuring the haunting vocals of Lalah Hathaway, is cool vibe at its finest - smooth, groovy and gorgeous. Every track on this new record brims with hope and optimism.

Miss Matsui has worked with 'everybody' including Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder and Bob James. Her style is as unique as a bonsai tree, flowing freely and joyfully with a poignant positivity infusing every note. “I hope in some small way that these songs stay with people. In some small way, I want to leave a positive impact. Rather than wanting people to receive the message that I want to convey, I would be happier if they can feel the music freely and decide what the music means to them.” 

On Euphoria, Keiko Matsui achieves this goal effortlessly. Each track brings its own gift of gratitude and grace. From a grateful, gracious and glamorous performer, Euphoria is a glorious gift to the globe.

 
Vickie van Dyke
Middays 

  

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