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Album Review: Lost there Found here
Cover image of the album Lost there Found here by Masako
Lost there Found here
2024 / Masako Music
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Lost there Found here is the eighth album from pianist/composer Masako, and I'm very happy to say that I've had the pleasure of reviewing them all! The twelve original tracks on the album were produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton and Masako and are a combination of piano solos and ensemble works that include guitar (Ackerman, Vin Downes), synthesizer and bass (Eaton), percussion (Jeff Haynes), vocals (Noah Wilding), flugelhorn and trumpet (Jeff Oster), violin (Charlie Bisharat), cello (Eugene Friesen), and EWI (Premik Russell Tubbs) in addition to Masako's piano. I don't think any musical artist could go wrong with a group of supporting musicians like these, but when the artist is of Masako's calibre, magic happens on every track. While each piece expresses something different, the overall feeling of the album is relaxed and very personal. The album will play beautifully in the background, but to fully appreciate it, you need to treat your ears as well as your soul to full immersion into the music. You'll find something very special there that will transport you to a place of peace and beauty, and I think all of us could use more of that!

Lost there Found here begins with "Spirit Forest," a piano solo that explores the ideas that spirits live in the mountains along with how to achieve the mental attitude and spirituality needed for safe and successful hiking. Very open and graceful, you can almost feel a gentle breeze and the warmth of the sun. "Miracle of Spring," also a piano solo, was inspired in part by Chopin's "Berceuse," but is not a copy or arrangement of that piece. Light and optimistic, images of the beauty and wonders that emerge in springtime flow from every note. "Walk Together" was released previously as a single and features guitars, synth, bass, percussion, vocals (no lyrics), and of course, piano. Truly an ensemble piece where no one is the "star," the gentle rhythms and lovely guitar and synth passages bring this beautiful piece to life. "Ice Blue" showcases the rather unusual combination of synth, horns and piano. Very still yet graceful and calm, you can almost feel a chill. "Reasons" returns to solo piano to answer questions with Masako's chosen instrument that are almost unanswerable in words. "Brooks and Cascades" is a gorgeous ensemble piece about the changes in bodies of water in the mountains. Bisharat (violin) and Friesen (cello) really add an element of magic to this beautiful and heartfelt piece. "Somber Day" is an older piece that was never released. Masako reworked it and created a very expressive piano solo that is one of my favorite tracks on the album (I honestly really like them all, though!). "Winter Tale" is a trio for piano, EWI (Tubbs) and voice (Wilding) that expresses the stillness and shimmering peacefulness of a snowy landscape - gorgeous! "Mid Hudson," mostly a gentle piano solo, has several passages that are duets with Bisharat and include percussion and bass - a beautiful portrait of the Hudson Valley region of New York state. "Homebound" and "Camino del Monte" are introspective piano solos that express different states of mind and how music can often say so much more than words. The album comes to a serene close with "Into the Dusk," another fascinating trio - this time for piano, cello and flugelhorn.

Masako has created another musical work of art with Lost there Found here! It is available on Amazon (CD, mp3 or streaming) and Apple Music/iTunes (download or streaming)as well as many streaming platforms including Spotify. Very highly recommended!
May 23, 2024
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