Michiko Ota’s first solo CD. Released on 11/11/11
With producer Marty Morell, Michiko Ota brings you 8 beautiful Latin standards and one original “Para Siempre”. Morell’s jazz and well diversified musical background and his tenure with the Bill Evans Trio, is clearly evident with the treatment of these traditional Latin songs. On this beautifully produced CD, with the help of modern technology, Morell performs all the parts on these 9 tracks and with over dubs by Jeff Rupert (sax), Jose Rodriguez (trp/fl. horn), Genta Ueki (guitar) and Percussion and drums by Michiko and Marty, they complete this wonderfully engaging production. Michiko Ota’s passionate, deeply felt renditions of these traditional Latin songs are sure to touch your heart. Her original composition “Para Siempre” shows that she is not only a fine vocalist but an accomplished musician as well.
1. BESAME MUCHO: Beginning with love calling tropical beach sounds, this beautiful Latin standard is given a light Bossa Nova treatment and with lush strings and a beautiful guitar solo by Genta Ueki, it captures the essence of this CD. To close this tune, Miss Ota sings a melodic duet with the flute which was composed by Morell, which makes this a very romantic and beckoning track.
2. SABOR A MI: Opening with rich chords and a warm Flugelhorn solo and Miss Ota’s sweet, angelic like voice; this newly treated version of Sabor a Mi will surely capture your heart. Morell’s Bill Evans harmonic influence and beautiful arranging skills are clearly heard on this track.
3. ALMA CON ALMA: Morell’s treatment of this beautiful Latin bolero completely captures the title of this song, Soul with Soul and Miss Ota’s lovely voice takes you to a place where souls can live and one can feel the essence of this tunes message. On the modulation to the key of B, you can hear Bill Evans speaking through the piano solo. The use of choral textures on this track, adds to the overall heavenly feeling of “Alma con Alma”.
4. SON AL SON: Son al Son is the CD’s Salsa Club track. Written in Cuba in the middle of the 20th century, the contemporary treatment of this track is clearly pointing to the Salsa club dance floor. Great horn solos by Jeff Rupert and Jose Rodriguez. Miss Ota shows her belting style on this very pop oriented version of this tune.
5. COMO FUE: Another beautiful Love ballad adds to the overall flow of “Enamorada”. With a beautiful vibe solo by Morell, the essence of Bill Evans is again apparent on this track. Also, written in the middle of the 20th century, this very melodic tune shows that the Latin composers of that period were truly romanticists.
6. DELIRIO: This Latin pop version of Delirio shows Miss Ota’s sultry side with her soft deep vocalizing. Again, the modern harmonic structure of Morell’s arranging is captivating to the listener.
7. LA PUERTA: Complimented with a great sax solo by Jeff Rupert, this track is very romantic in its treatment. Miss Ota shows how she can feel every emotion to the fullest as she sings about a lost love. Morell’s pop drum style gives this track the appropriate feel.
8. CONTIGO APRENDI: The only up tempo on “Enamorada” has another great sax solo by Jeff Rupert. Morell’s Jazz side is evident as his treatment of this tune is leaning heavily to that side but Miss Ota’s elegant singing, give this track a wonderful contrast of styles. All the percussion done by Morell and Ota is spectacular and it brings the Latin and the Jazz elements of this music together in a perfect marriage.
9. PARA SIEMPRE: Clearly a gifted vocalist and composer, Miss Ota, with her rendition of this tune, makes one reminiscent of the famous Japanese singer Hibari Misora.