Juri's CD Review
By Justin M. Kantor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is a New York-based freelance writer. His writings have appeared in DMA, All-Music Guide, and The Hip Key.
Blending crisp keys with oceanic strings and unique vocals,
Berklee pianist/vocalist Juri's seven-songs debut is impressive in its consolidation of elements from many styles into a form that stands out on its own. There's a peace and serenity that surrounds the numbers, from the passionate "You Gotta Hold Me Tight" to the inspiring " The Way". On the former , the strings of Ivetta Minkina,Ingmar Suberkrub,Irina Chirkova,and Matt Ambrose juxtapose a Celtic vibe with the tune's soulful foundation. On the later, the merging of Juri's lead lines with ad-libs courtesy of Chrissi Poland and Kevin Wood has a blazing effect.
In this instance and every other on the Jury's out, the absence of distracting drum machines and grooves that dominate most mainstream pop is blessing, allowing the listener to fully soak in the full personality of the piano, strings, and vocals. Here, too, Juri shows her knowledge if classically oriented patterns within a dynamic pop arrangement."How happy that I've met you", meanwhile, displays a subtler side, employing the guitar, along side the keys and vocals.
Bearing the influence of 70"s pop-rock and folk, it still has a distinctly individual and lively presence. Her sassy approach to "all your love" is particularly affecting, combined with Kevin Wood's fluid harmony vocals.
"Juri, you're a delightful and talented woman..."
Rik Tinory, Producer
"You are advancing with justice. I believe in you..."
"Juri's music is bubbling with energy, optimism and a genuine enthusiasm for life, just like Juri!"
Russell Ferrante, Yellowjackets
Juri began her musical career playing classical piano from a very early age. At the age of 11, she won the Yamanashi Composition competition. While in Japan, she was an avid performer with various artists including B.B. Mo-Franck, a professional percussionist for the musical The Lion King in Tokyo. Juri soon auditioned and was awarded a generous scholarship to develop her musical artistry through a concentration of Professional Music at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past two years, she has been in high demand by several resident as well as international recording artists living in the Boston area.
These experiences include being the Musical Director for the musical Grease produced by Darling Production in Quincy, MA. Additionally, a trip to Africa provided intense study of traditional music and dance, and rhythm. Later on, a tour in the American Midwest sponsored by Berklee, opened a rare opportunity to educate young musicians in public schools through clinics developed by Berklee students. Juri has since then been a recipient of two achievement scholarships and was nominated Berklee Students Ambassador.
She has worked as a Berklee representative for the Boston Music Career Expo 2001 with the president and vice-president of the college. Juri was also selected to perform for Steely Dan at their Tribute Concert hosted by Berklee in May of 2001. Juri has released one album of original compositions titled
"Jury's out # 1"Pop and now she is working on her 2nd Album "Jury's out #2 Jam in the Bush" featuring world class drummer Kenwood Dennard. This latest release explores African fusion with her own unique combination of pop and experimental arrangements.
As a side project, Juri has written and produced a 10 songs album for a Japanese Panda Bear institution. She also maintains a Professional Model and Editor position for a Japanese fashion magazine, an active performing career, and occasional summons to write for a local jingle houses.
Juri's focused attitude and professional demeanor make her work provoking and her schedule disciplined. There is no doubt that her experience and innovative sound will mark her significant cornerstone in the future of pop music. With her chameleon song-writing abilities, and groundbreaking challenges to current mainstream artists, her listeners can expect only that.