Yumi Hara Cawkwell – Statement Heels

Yumi Hara Cawkwell - Statement HeelsYumi Hara CAWKWELL plays the piano like a “bohemian cat” travelling all around the world.

Yumi Hara CAWKWELL, born in Tokyo, is a versatile musician living in London. Upon graduation from School of Medicine in The University of Tsukuba, she’d worked as a psychiatrist for a while. However she immigrated into London suddenly in 1993 for her dream of mastering music and graduated School of Arts (Music) in City University London. Via learning composition, piano, or ethnic music, she started playing in improvised, flexible and eclectic style, with lots of renowned artists (e.g. David Cross, Hugh Hopper, Geoff Leigh, Akira Sakata, Yoshihide Otomo, Tatsuya Yoshida, Hoppy Kamiyama, Kazutoki Umezu, etc.etc.). Already known as a founder of Humi (a short-lived project with Hugh), Geoff Leigh & Yumi Hara, or Mammal Machine.

This album (it’s surprising this is Yumi’s official solo debut album) can be said as a compilation of her splendid works for New Age and Classic music scene. Furthermore, with the collaboration of a renowned Japanese drummer Tatsuya YOSHIDA, she’s seasoned her previous creations with matured rock essence and structure easy to grasp for rock music freaks. No more expression needed I think but she’s played with lots of brilliant musicians in Canterbury Scene or avantgarde jazz rock world like Hugh Hopper or Geoff Leigh enough to let us enjoy over the sea eccentrically waved … that means that we cannot foresee what will happen upon her play namely.

Tatsuya YOSHIDA’s drumming is superb, and amazingly, he completely supports Yumi from behind, without standing in front of her. And of course, Yumi’s keyboard play reminds me something like a cool creek streaming quietly and naturally (like “The Milky Way” with a flood of stardust and brilliant star-gems), and sometimes like a hot spring gushing out from between rocks (the fourth track “Cosmos Massive No. 901”, in which she plays the piano as percussion, is short but very impressive!), and it’s so mysterious all of her play can satisfy us “naturally”. Her voices (especially in the third track “Walk On The Middle Of The Road”, maybe associated with some Japanese fairy tales) are so unique and weird, like an incantation by a magician, that we can be immersed into her inner mind (exactly step by step).

Let me say,she can show herself at her best in the last three tracks that push their avantgarde weirdness in the facade with her magic voices and psychedelic electric piano sounds (on the contrary, her easy-listening tunes sound a bit strange for me sorry). As previously mentioned, we can hear in the tenth track “Archaeopteryx” something of Bernard Vitet, a French avant-jazz pioneer around 1970, with her intentional Zeuhl-ish paranoid voices and Tatsuya’s Zeuhl-ish drumming. Guess her eclectic talent can be found when we finish listening to this album thoroughly. Recommended for both avantgarde progressive fans and jazz / new age ones.

Tracklist:

1. Statement Heels (3:54)
2. The Shape Du Jour (3:02)
3. Walk On The Middle Of The Road (3:09)
4. Cosmos Massive No. 901 (2:16)
5. Baby Doll (3:46)
6. The Milky Way (2:59)
7. Fortitude (4:09)
8. Farouche (5:22)
9. Sense Of Homogeneity (4:41)
10. Archaeopteryx (6:17)
11. Mikuratana (7:45)
12. The Ebb Tide (3:32)

Total Time 50:52

Line-up:

* Yumi Hara Cawkwell – all instruments
* Tatsuya Yoshida – drums

Links:

http://yumiharacawkwell.co.uk/

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