Monday, July 23, 2018

Mieko Hirota - My Funny Valentine

Year : 1976
Label : Nippon Columbia
Serie : Best Vocal Series
Genre : Jazz
Style : Jazz Funk

"My Funny Valentine" is a cover album of western jazz & soul music by the most famous japanese songtress outside Japan, Mieko Hirota. "The Queen of Pop" in Japan, also nicknamed "MICO", started her professional career at 14, making her debut with cover song "Don't Treat Me Like A Child" released in 1961, but it's with the hit single "Vacation" that she really gained recognition in Japan from 1962. In July 1965, she was the first Japanese singer to perform at the american Newport Jazz Festival, and at the end of the sixties, she was also among the first japanese songstress to turn to the Soul and R&B music. During the seventies, she recorded several jazz funk albums with the Colgen Band led by arranger & pianist Hiromasa Suzuki, including some of the Akira Ishikawa's Count Buffalos group featuring Takeru Muraoka, Akira Okazawa or Takao Naoi. In the late seventies, she settled in New York city and recorded "Mieko Hirota in New York" featuring the Billy Taylor Trio and "Step Across" featuring  Terumasa Hino, Joe Farrell, Stanley Cowell, Billy Cobham & Richard Davis. Tiles include the Soul classics of Marvin Gaye "What's Going On" & Aretha Franklin "Day Dreaming", the killer funk "Easy Evil", the Jazz standards "My Funny Valentine" & "There Will Never Be Another You" played in a samba fusion variation.

Mieko Hirota_vocal
Hiromasa Suzuki_synthesizer, piano
Takeru Muraoka_saxophones, flute
Takao Naoi & Tsunehide Matsuki_guitar
Akira Okazawa & Isao Eto_bass
Yasushi Ichihara_drums
Akira Ishikawa_drums, percussion

01. My Funny Valentine
02. Easy Evil
03. What's Going On
04. Sweet Love
05. There Will Never Be Another You
06. You're As Right As Rain
07. Day Dreaming
08. My Love

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