Who: Meg Okura is a Juilliard grad Japanese Jewish Jazz violinist and composer who has had the fortune of working with: Michael Brecker, Tom Harrell, Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Dianne Reeves, Helen Sung, Sam Newsome, Kanye West, David Bowie, Philip Glass, Vince Giordano, JC Sanford, and many other wonderful artists.
CD Review by Matt Cole
As I’m not very familiar with the music of Ryuichi Sakamoto, I would seem to be an odd choice to review a CD of his compositions. However, given that Meg Okura & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble have created a jazzy re-imagining of Sakamoto’s synth pop creations that is apparently quite different from the original, I may be more able to hear and then review the album without preconceptions (perhaps like sending someone unfamiliar with Ayler to review New Grass, which, curiously enough, was my own introduction to Ayler). The selections on the CD cover a near-20 year span, from his 1978 debut “Thousand Knives” to 1997’s “Untitled #01″ (on this album as “Grief”). Violinist/arranger Meg Okura, in the liner notes, writes that a number of arranging techniques and approaches were used, with some pieces remade anew (e.g. “The End of Asia,” “Thousand Knives”), while others hew close to the original (“The Last Emperor Theme”).
1. Roberto’s invited you to “the Patrizia Scascitelli Sextet & Virginia Mayhew Quartet”
Date: Monday, May 3, 2010
Time: 8pm Meg Okura and the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble (Meg Okura on violin, erhu, and vocal, Anne Drummond on flute, Mamiko Kitaura on piano, Gregg August on bass and Alvester Garnett on drums) – 10pm Marcus Strickland Trio (Marcus Strickland on soprano & tenor sax, Ben Williams on bass and E.J. Strickland on drums)
Venue: Rosie O’Grady’s (149 West 46 Street, New York, NY 10036)