January 08, 2019

No Day But Today / Jun Izumi (vo) and Yuto Kanazawa (gt)

How many singers do you recognize from their voice?

She would deserve to gain that reputation.

Jun Izumi released an EP with guitarist Yuto Kanazawa on November 16th, 2018.

No Day But Today

EP available on Jun Izumi Official Website

No Day But Today / Jun Izumi and Yuto Kanazawa

- Jun Izumi (voice)
- Yuto Kanazawa (guitar)

1. My Favorite Things / Richard Rodgers
2. Frevo / Egberto Gismonti
3. Will I? / Jonathan Larson
4. First Circle / Pat Metheny
5. Spain / Chick Corea

Released: November 16th, 2018
Label: Woodside Sounds

The EP "No Day But Today" comprises five songs.

It begins with "My Favorite Things" from the Broadway musical "The Sound of Music". The popular classic jazz standard, which is famous for John Coltrane's rendition, is the choice appropriate for telling Izumi's determination to be compared with many others to differentiate herself from them. You will be overwhelmed by her singing prowess just from the very scratch on the album.

Izumi scats Egberto Gismonti's composition "Frevo" and Pat Metheny's "First Circle". Her transparent voice gives another appreciation of the great masters' works.

Kanazawa's accompaniment on guitar is more than perfect to bring out the vocalist's natural gift. A duo performance often tends to sound like a battle to show off each other's advantage, that is, human organ versus artificial apparatus. He keeps manipulating his ax to keep some distance from as well as stick close to Izumi's vocals for their best harmony. The guitarist also remembers to improvise in a sophisticated way.

The vocalist and the instrumentalist top off the list with Chick Corea's masterpiece "Spain". They portray the emotionally depicted scene courteously without playing the eccentric artist.

Flyer: Jun Izumi (vo) and Yuto Kanazawa (gt)
Photo from the Facebook Event page for the EP release Japan tour in 2018

You can find the reason why Izumi titles the EP "No Day But Today" in "Will I?".

The song is from the Broadway musical "RENT", which captivated her with its artistry completely when she visited New York for the first time. The phrase 'No Day But Today' is referred to in the last song of the show.

Izumi learned the lesson from an incident in 2012 that nobody could expect tomorrow would come just like today did, which crushed her spirit seriously. Now she recalls she saw the musical between tears she shed moved by the beautiful music and the harsh words. With in mind the joy of living alive every single second the phrase indicates, she's always crooned the song to inspire herself.

She put those feelings of her and respect for Jonathan Larson, the author of "RENT", into the song to arrange it before she recorded the rendition.

Along with the CD launch, Izumi shows the movie she shot with Kanazawa in the area of East Village, New York City that was featured in "RENT". They play "Will I?" in it. She translates her emotions more vividly and wistfully into the picture.

Throughout the album, the singer and guitarist, who hail from Japan and are based in New York, demonstrate their refined skills to make beautiful sound. You can feel how gracefully voice and guitar could work together when they hit it off with each other.

Jun Izumi (vo) and Yuto Kanazawa (gt)

Photo from Bamboo Club's Facebook Page, taken during the EP release show at the club

Izumi collaborates with another guitarist, Pat Brennan. They both graduated from the City College of New York. The duo has some recordings on her channels of YouTube and Soundcloud. Their session is also worth listening to.

In addition, she is going to release one more duo album and a quartet one in 2019.

Jun Izumi will no doubt be one of the singers you can name just after you hear a single voice of theirs.

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 18:03 on January 08, 2019 JST | review | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする