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Will Ackerman

Grammy-Winning Guitarist, Producer, Founder of Windham Hill Records

"I was astounded to be present as Masako offered many performances so flawless that it required only a single take without edit to realize the pieces; performances of such quality that are so rare as to be nearly mythical. That such perfection and such depth of emotion coexist in her work is the holy grail of recording and production for me.

Masako doesn’t sound like anyone else in the world. Her style is uniquely her own. People use the term 'unique' far too freely, but in Masako's case the term is dramatically accurate. Two notes of B.B. King will tell me who I'm listening to and the same is true of Masako's composition and playing.

Her timing is breathtaking and the dance between her left and right hands is unlike anything I've ever encountered. There is never any sense of her music becoming academic or emotionally compromised even with these prodigious skills. Hers is some of the very finest work I've heard in my career..."

www.williamackerman.com

Liz Story

Pianist & Composer, Multiple Grammy Award Nominee

"This music asks to be listend to many times. A trurly inspiring experience. Masako's wonderful musical skills travel with an invigorating peaceful clarity....like the opportunity to observe a clear night sky full of stars."

www.lizstory.com

 
 

Steve Sheppard

One World Music

...on Call of the Mountains

"Just what the Solo Piano genre needed; here we have an album jam packed to the top with total class and creativity, an album superbly produced by Ackerman and Eaton to such a fine level...an album that will move you, bring you peace and liberate you...an album that I would personally recommend for you to place in your musical collection."

www.oneworldmusic.co.uk

 

John P. Olsen 

NewAgeMusicWorld.com

...on MASAKO

"Composing pianist Masako has released an extraordinary instrumental album with every hallmark of a seasoned professional. Will Ackerman produced this album at Imaginary Road Studios, but needless to say, a producer can only enhance by bringing out the best of an artist's talents. It's clear Masako herself gives a magnificent performance, and her arrangement design of piano with instrumental music deserves to be characterized as a world-class release." (Read the whole review)

www.newagemusicworld.com

 
 

Kathy Parsons

MainlyPiano.com

...on Call of the Mountains

"There are many self-taught musicians whose work I dearly love, but when an artist such as Masako steps in with a lifetime of rigorous training, there is a palpable difference and often, at least for me, a much bigger “WOW!” factor. It has nothing to do with showmanship or playing speed (usually), but the effortless command of the instrument to successfully convey whatever that artist seeks to express." (Read the whole review

...on Masako

"Her fluid, graceful touch and ability to become one with her instrument set her apart from many pianists, and her original compositions offer a truly unique musical voice that is strong and assured, yet gentle and soothing." (Read the whole review

www.mainlypiano.com

Clidk here for an extended interview of Masako by Kathy Parsons 

 
 

Serge Kozlovsky

"What is music? This is the path to reconnect the lonely beings... The music of Masako is filled with divine harmonics and a lot of subtle nuances. It streams straight from the artist’s heart without falsehood and unnecessary embellishment. These are just the pure emotions which the performer lets flow easily. And they convey the yearnings and emotional experiences of the artist’s essence. Therefore, this music is very intimate. ”


...on Call of the Mountains

"...just listen to this music and it will lead you into uncharted territory, where unbelievable beauty lives...One can say that Masako becomes not just one more star, but the leader in the new age music genre. ..“Call of the Mountains” will be gourmet food for any new age and contemporary instrumental music lovers."
 

...on MASAKO

"Masako brightly continues the musical tradition of the great Windham Hill artists such as William Ackerman, George Winston, Michael Hedges, Liz Story, Shadowfax, to name a few. But the pianist has her own distinct style which makes the heart stopping sounds of piano, fall like the warm summer rain on the tired head. And it is not necessary to think, just listen to this healing music to empathize with it."

sergekozlovsky.com/

 
 

Bill Binkelman

Zone Music Reporter

...on MASAKO

"Ackerman has once again unearthed an exceptional talent... Masako's music draws accurate comparisons to the glory days of Ackerman's Windham Hill label (as well as competitor Narada). Her sensitivity, control of nuance and shading, and her quasi-minimalist style (not as minimal as George Winston, but certainly in the same ballpark at times) won me over on the first track, the solo piano number, Glastenbury, VT..."

tinyurl.com/jwfjjjt

 
 

R J Lannan

Zone Music Reporter

...on MASAKO

"... for a freshman enterprise, this album has quite a bit of polish and self-confidence that I would have expected from a much more experienced composer. That tells me that there is an opportunity to achieve a powerful musical presence from this artist..."

tinyurl.com/mfazkcn

 
 

BT Fasmer

New Age Stars Radio

"Don't you just love music that almost instantly enters your heart and soul, that from the very first note seems to connect with you? One such album for me is Masako ...It is not unusual for professional artists to release great albums when they for the first time go solo. But Masako is a very strong first release, even in this context..."
(Read the full CD Review) 

btfasmer.com

 

Donovan Johnson

Enlightened Piano Radio

"Masako finds that perfect balance between the simple and the complicated, and the listener is able to sit right in the 'pocket' of the music, drift away, and take a journey with her... very hypnotic and engaging, prompting you to listen over and over again. "

www.enlightenedpiano.com

 
 

Dave Butler

Producer & Host of the Inner Visions Syndicated Radio show and Program Director for Got Radio's Piano Perfect and New Age Nuance Channels

"Masako has an extremely flowing style that relaxes the listener and at the same time allows for introspection from within making her music the perfect environment for any time of day, mood or situation.  It's a delight to listen to.  All it took was a few moments of listening to know that Masako's touch on the keys will carry her far. Just listen and you'll see..."

gotradio.com
www.myspace.com/innervisionsradio 
www.freewebs.com/innervisionsradio

 
 

Michael Diamond

Music Editor, Awareness Magazine

...on Call of the Mountains

"Throughout the album, Masako’s music is painted from a diverse palate of emotions, from the lightest pastels to more deeply saturated hues. Although she is quite capable of dazzling the listener with her formidable skills on the piano, she often chooses to let the melody and the accompanying emotion it is imbued with be the focus." (Read the full CD review

...on Masako

"Masako is a gem reflecting diverse facets that sparkle with musical light..."

michaeldiamondmusic.com

 
 

Dana Wright

Muzikreviews.com

...on Call of the Mountains

"...lush theatrical depictions of the Northeast Mountains in the United States fill the listener with love and appreciation for the beauty that is all around if people would only open their eyes and ears to listen…a heartrending audio experience...From serene and flowing harmonies to elaborate climbs in sound and texture, she has crafted a sampler of elegantly sculpted notes." (Read the full CD review
 

...on MASAKO

"Fluid as water and as bendable as a willow tree, each piece on her debut albumMASAKO is a breath of audible bliss...Masako crafts compositions that are remarkably flawless, impeccably timed and a unique blend of classic and contemporary style influenced in part by her Japanese heritage.... " (Read the full CD review)

www.muzikreviews.com

 
 

Dick Metcalf

Improvijazzation Nation 

...on Call of the Mountains

"very expressive and insightful particularly on tunes like Bigfoot Forest , her careful use of full-blown chords to expand the vibrancy of the compositions is especially effective... My personal favorite was the strident, yet beautiful Purple Indulgence. You can see the pictures she paints for you quite clearly. (The strings are stunning)..." (Read the full CD Review)
 

...on MASAKO

"Simple yet elegant to her approach to the keyboards...This is one of those musical adventures you'll keep close to your heart (and your ears) for months (years, even) to come...The rich chords and enticing violin on 'A Tale of Lonely Otter' made it my favorite..." (Read the full CD Review)

rotcodzzaj.com/wordpress

 
 

Raj Manoharan

...on Call of the Mountains

"...with this offering, Masako proves herself worthy of the echelon of preeminent pianists such as David Lanz, Jim Brickman, and Liz Story. I even hear a little bit of Bruce Hornsby in her compositional and playing style...a flawless disc from beginning to end, with one beautiful and mesmerizing piece after another. As they say, the hits just keep on coming...without a doubt one of the best piano-based albums out there."

...on MASAKO

"On her self-titled review, Masako proves herself to be a classy and elegant composer with an ear for music and a golden touch on the keyboard..."

www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com 

 
 

Collin Kelley

Awards-Winning Poet & Novelist

...on MASAKO

"There's a wistfulness and melancholy about the album, especially on tracks like 'Forgotten Memories,' 'A Tale of Lonely Otter' and the two-part cycle called 'Remembrance.' It's almost like the soundtrack for an unmade film. Elsewhere, there are more uplifting tracks like 'The Secret Path to Point Reyes Part 2,' which transports you to a sun-dappled walk to the beach, and the spirited 'Ottauquechee River.' 'Moon and Stream' is a gorgeous lullaby, while 'Glastenbury, VT' is simply jazzy and cool – the soundtrack to a snowy winter day with a glass of wine and a good book (watch the video below). ..They are, in a word, elegant. There's nothing fussy here – just simple, emotionally- driven music designed to take you out of your own world for an hour. Take the journey."

collinkelley.blogspot.com

 

Toshiharu Minagawa

...on Call of the Mountains

このアルバムは2012年の1st『MASAKO』に次ぐイマジナリー・ロード・スタジオでのレコーディング、そしてアッカーマンによるプロデュースです。前作よりも、より自然体の作風に磨きがかかっているような気がしました。

先に書いたように、アメリカという国をイメージするとき、大自然を抱えた大地や大空を思わせてくれますが、それが音楽による印象でよりハッキリとイメージとして思い描けるときがあります。まさにウィンダム・ヒルや、その後のアッカーマンのプロデュースによる作品がそれにあたると思うのですが、Masakoさんの2つのアルバムからもそれを感じることができます。それは映像的であったり、曲によっては匂いや、温度(森の中のヒンヤリ感とか、降雨の冷たさとか)までが感じられるような気がします。どの曲からも大自然の大らかな息吹がみなぎっているような気がしてなりません。

ジャケットに編まれたコラージュのように、さまざまな自然の表情や営みが音として描かれ、リスナーに浸透してゆく。雑多な街に住み、自然を忘れがちな人たちに聞いてもらいたい作品集です。」

http://tupichan.net/WindhamHill/ImaginaryRoad/CALL_OF_THE_MOUNTAINS.html

http://d.hatena.ne.jp/tupichan/

 

 
 
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