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Friday, March 18, 2011

LISTENING POST

CD REVIEW

Emi Meyer "Suitcase of Stones"


Jazz pianist/vocalist Emi Meyer's third studio album, "Suitcase of Stones," has the artist singing in English again following last year's all-Japanese outing "Passport." The Kyoto-born Seattle native delivers a diverse range of jazz-, blues- and reggae-influenced original compositions in what has become her signature laid-back, smoky voice.

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Mixed and mastered by Husky Huskolds, who has worked with the likes of Norah Jones and Yael Naim, Meyer's new album proves how the 24-year-old has a gift for belting out warm, wistful songs with a hint of nostalgia. Coupled with the subtle lilt in her voice and restrained production, the album will be good company on a lazy, rainy day.

The album comes with a second CD of bonus material, including Meyer's cover of Booker T's "Jamaica Song," on which she teams up with Japanese ska band Cool Wise Man. Meyer also works with Chinese-American Dave Liang's The Shanghai Restoration Project on four of the bonus tracks, singing both Japanese and English versions of "A Summer Song" and "A Winter Song."

Meyer's debut album, "Curious Creatures," was released in April 2009 and quickly topped the Japanese iTunes Store's jazz chart. She collaborated with Japanese rapper and producer Shing02 on "Passport," all the while playing shows around Japan, including an appearance at the Fuji Rock Festival in 2009.

Meyer's tour for her new album will kick off with a show on April 2 at Tokyo's Ueno Koen Suijo Ongakudo Yagai Stage. For more information, visit www.emimeyer.jp.

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