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JSngry

Monday Michiru Corner

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Does anyone ave any suggestions for where I can find "4 Seasons?"

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Does anyone ave any suggestions for where I can find "4 Seasons?"

Well, dustygroove may have it again at an almost reasonable price. . . .

I haven't found her stuff to be cheap anywhere!

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Does anyone ave any suggestions for where I can find "4 Seasons?"

Dusty Groove does not have it.

I bought mine from an Amazon "vendor" for $33 + shipping.

The "cheapest" one there now is $50.

I wonder if Hiroshi could get it for you.

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Does anyone ave any suggestions for where I can find "4 Seasons?"

Dusty Groove does not have it.

I bought mine from an Amazon "vendor" for $33 + shipping.

The "cheapest" one there now is $50.

I wonder if Hiroshi could get it for you.

I wouldn't mind paying the $50, but the seller is Caiman, who I have had bad luck with. I have sent them money, at least three times now, and been told weeks later that the item I ordered was out of print.

How would I contact this seller named Hiroshi about the CD?

Maybe, what I should ask is what would be the best CD to start with...

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Depends on what your preferences are. If you want to get your first hit from something with an overt jazz flavor, by all means start with 4 Seasons. If you want something with a poppy yet kinda wacked-out Brazillian/Salsa flavor, go with Optimista.

And if you want something that's got all that plus some techno-dance touches, by all means get Routes, which is available in a Japanese version (usually in stock at Dusty Groove or one of the sites you can link to through this board) that has a bonus cut, or domestically through her website (she's part of the same ArtistShare program as Maria Scnieder & Jim Hall). The domestic version lacks the bonus cut but comes with a lot of other downloadable "extras".

And don't let the "techno" thing scare you off. Monday's really impressing me with the way that she's using drum programs for rhythms in much the same way that Zawinul used synths for tonal colors. Her programming doesn't sound at all "mechanical" or otherwise oppressive. this stuff is at once rhymically complex in its layerings and irresistable in its propulsiveness. No small feat that, and coupled with her consummate musicality and arranging/production skills, I'd be tempted to say that she's on the forefront of creating a a new form of contemporary dance music that's as much focused on musicality as it is groove, but I don't know wnough about what's happening in contemporary dance music to make that kind of claim with any real confidence.

Two things I do know, though, is pop production/arranging skills and songwriting craft. And on these counts, she's about as dazzling a talent as any I've heard, ever. Lon's comparison to "golden age" Stevie Wonder is not at all incorrect afaic, but Monday ups the ante by leaving room for extended jazz solos in a lot of her tunes. And she uses "real" jazz players like Conrad herwig, Dave Kikowski, her husband Alex Siapigin, Bryan Lynch, Dave Valentin (whose talents far exceed his limpy GRP efforts of yore), and Donnie McCaslin, whose playing elsewhere has me intrigued.

McCaslin, in fact, has a long solo on the most techno/dance piece on Routes, "The Right time". What impresses me about him is that almost any other tenor player called to solo on this kind of piece would either do a total outjob deconstruction thing or else do a Breckerish hooty-tooty gland-stimulation. Both of these types approaches are tired cliches that were never much fun to begin with, especially the latter. But McCaslin PLAYS, develops ideas and motifs, playing some subtle harmonic games along the way while never losing his feel for the underlying groove.

Maybe there's lots of cats who could play like this on a dance cut, but how many producers would allow it? And that's one of teh many things that I really dig about Monday - as her own producer, she not only allows this kind of shit, she obviously encourages it. It's obviously what she wants on her records - playing, real playing, real music, no "role playing". "The Right Time" is nearly 10 minutes long, but it's arranged in such a way that it doesn't plod on with the Fascistic Beat Beating of so many dance cuts. It's sectionalized (seamlessly), and there's an attention to pacing, dynamics, and texture that makes it very clear that although this is dance music, and that there's technology at play (GASP!), that this is first and foremost music, not "product" for the clubs. It's tempting to say that not since the Swing Era has social functionality and "art" been so organically blended, but that might be hyperbole. But then again, it might not be. Time will tell, but the evidence is available now for your consideration. I can definitely say, though, that it's not the type of thing that you ever encounter on a regular basis.

"The Right Time" is the most overtly "club" cut on Routes, but it's not the only one that seamlessly melds "machines" (really, though, at this point in the game it's time we start thinking of them as instruments and start blaming the players, not the machines, for the far-too-often unhuman results that come from their usage) and "real time" playing. There's 2-3 cuts on the album taht fall flat for me, but the rest is as daring and satisfying a "pop' album (and this might well be a case of something being too good to be thought of as "pop", although as with the machines, I say it's time to start blaming the practitioners rather than the idiom for the rampant failures therein) as you're going to hear. The songs are bold and meaty, the arrangements oft-times startling (Siapagin's work adds a distinctly,as FFA noted, Woody Shaw-ish element to the proceedings when it appears, and again - if this is a "producer's music", then Monday's "allowance" of this type thing is her choice alone, and how many pop producers encourage the inclusion of Woody shaw type horn lines on their records?), and the production is more often than not downright bold. Routes is probably too "contemporary" for many here, but if you're not one of them, I'd suggest checking it out ASAP.

Remember, her mom & father(s) are all serious jazz musicians, so she grew up surrounded by/immersed in non-idiotic music. And she herself was raised/trained as a classical flautist (in line for a scholarship at Oberlin, I believe, until a jaw injury sidetracked her focus for several years, but that's another story...). so this ain't no DIY geek with ideas but no chops to execute them in anything more than a manner that suggests what they really want to hear. This woman's got bold ideas and the skills to pull them off exactly as she hears them.

Monday Michiru is the real deal.

Edited by JSngry

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Does anyone ave any suggestions for where I can find "4 Seasons?"

Dusty Groove does not have it.

I bought mine from an Amazon "vendor" for $33 + shipping.

The "cheapest" one there now is $50.

I wonder if Hiroshi could get it for you.

I wouldn't mind paying the $50, but the seller is Caiman, who I have had bad luck with. I have sent them money, at least three times now, and been told weeks later that the item I ordered was out of print.

How would I contact this seller named Hiroshi about the CD?

Maybe, what I should ask is what would be the best CD to start with...

Hiroshi@earlymusic.com

As many will attest, he has been a great source for jazz CDs from Japan.

I would think he'd be able to get this too. No idea what the price would be.

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OK, I'm intrigued. I am going to have to check out Ms. Monday.

If I understand the essence of Jim's last post, it is "when you're in love, she can do no wrong, even with pop drum machine programs." :D

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jlhoots and JSngry, thank you for the help.

I can deal with the techno influences. When I worked at the store, I mainly worked shifts with a coworker that only played electronic/techno music during his turn on the stereo. Heck, he even performed his own music, which was made on a gameboy.

I will order a couple of CDs by her.

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If I understand the essence of Jim's last post, it is "when you're in love, she can do no wrong, even with pop drum machine programs." :D

Would that it were that simple...

A more accurate reading would be "when you come across great pop music that's got all the elements of past glories mixed in with strong "global" rhythmic concepts, a really hip sense of harmony, total control of (and over) today's technology, and a husband who writes arrangements like nobody's ever written for a pop singer, how can you not be in love?"

And btw - she don't sing no sex songs (her version of "The Island" is incredibly sexual, but it's still a LOVE song, dig?). That's her problem right there. All truth and beauty and love ("hippy-ish at times, but I can live with that), and no songs about how hot her pussy is and how she's ready for us to riderideride dat azzzz. THAT would no doubt get her an American distribution deal, like, yesterday. THAT there's a market for.

The "pop drum machine programs" are anything but that, trust me. Again, think of how Zawinul "humanized" the sound of synthesizers (not a universally held sentiment, to be sure, but I can't do anything abou that). That's what Monday Michiru has done for drum programs. Not just in the complexity of the grooves, but in the feel of them. She can (and does) mix real percussion in with her programs, and damned if you can tell what's waht after awhile. And damned if it matters. She's a chick who's equally grounded (and experienced, and skilled) in accoustic music and hip-hop technology. For her, it's all pretty much the same, just tools to make her music with. For that, and her courage to go on ahead and full-out do it like that, she has my unending admiration. Damn straight she does!

Don't check her out if the possibilities of pop music (and therefore popular culture in general) being able to successfully accomodate forward musical thinking (and the celebration of gratification beyond the instant) is of no concern and/or interest to you. Otherwise, dig in.

Edited by JSngry

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Hiroshi@earlymusic.com

As many will attest, he has been a great source for jazz CDs from Japan.

I would think he'd be able to get this too. No idea what the price would be.

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New copies of 4 Seasons available from UK and German Amazon UK Marketplace sellers here: ping! , for under £5.

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New copies of 4 Seasons available from UK and German Amazon UK Marketplace sellers here: ping! , for under £5.

Thank you for finding this for me!

I ordered one through the link.

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That's because I gave you the wrong address.

It's Hiroshi@earlyrecords.com

Sorry.

No problem, jlhoots. I appreciate everything you have done.

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New copies of 4 Seasons available from UK and German Amazon UK Marketplace sellers here: ping! , for under £5.

Thank you for finding this for me!

I ordered one through the link.

Thanks for that link.

Bought a copy of Optimista which I couldn't find elsewhere.

Be aware that you purchased the 1 CD version of what is a 2 CD set in the incarnation that I have. 8 fewer tracks.

Still a great deal.

Edited by jlhoots

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New copies of 4 Seasons available from UK and German Amazon UK Marketplace sellers here: ping! , for under £5.

Thank you for finding this for me!

I ordered one through the link.

Thanks for that link.

Bought a copy of Optimista which I couldn't find elsewhere.

Be aware that you purchased the 1 CD version of what is a 2 CD set in the incarnation that I have. 8 fewer tracks.

Still a great deal.

Oops... :(

Well, on a positive note, I will have the chance to hear her music.

Edited by HolyStitt

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HEY KIDS!!!!

Free (full-length) streaming audio clips of Routes (as well as per-song mp3 purchase options, full lyrics/production/recording/personnel data, and a nice, basic bio) available here:

http://iacmusic.com/artist.aspx?ID=23232

The stylistic labels this site gives each song crack me up, but then again, if that's how the core of the existing audience relates to these things, then that's how you target them. They call "Touch The Sky" "nu-fusion". I call it "a dazzling blend of Weather Report harmonies, house beats filtered through Africa (or vice-versa), and Carl Wilson-produced-era Beach Boys layered vocals carried into infinity". Same thing, I suppose, and "nu-fusion" is a helluva lot easier to remember. :g

A lot of musical ground/styles covered here, and the only songs that I myself can't get too excited over are "Be Who You Are", "Remember" & "Dig Deep" (they don't suck by any means, but they're less to my liking than the rest). "The Right Time" I've already discussed above, but "Don't" is another impressive work in the arc that it takes from beginning to end. Another excellent Sipiagin horn arrangement here as well - one that goes from Gil Evans to Woody Shaw/M-Base without as much as a blink. But then again, I think they're all "above and beyond" contemporary pop music artifacts. Songwriting, arranging, production, everything. There is no better pop music being made today, imo. And when pop is this good, yes - it matters!

Check it out - an indie artist (outside of Japan, where apparently she's still a BIG star and is still contracted to some arm of Universal) with a global following offering free streams of the complete album (American version), online per-song mp3 purchases, and full album credits online. Surely this is the future of the record business!

Now, Ron Goldstein (allegedly) had the chance to get her stuff out in America and took a pass. Routes probably could have been released in America on Verve (much to the cries of "jazz purists", but ain't nuthin I can do 'bout that). Tell me again why this guy's not an idiot?

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Today's rodcast will include

all the tracks from these recordings:

• Delicious Poison

• Four Seasons

• Jazz Brat

• Maiden Japan

• Optimista

• Recollections

• Routes

plus the tracks

Rainbows and

Native Tongue

from Naked Breath

and 2 tracks exclusive to her website:

a remix of Hung Up

and a live version of Yellow Bird.

100 tunes

9 hours: 37 minutes

Enjoy!

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Give us a link! And thanks!!

(Sorry if there's a link in your sig; I have them turned off.)

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Yup, it was in my sig.

rodcast

You're welcome! Hope you enjoy!

Rod

Edited by rostasi

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You rule Rod!

IMO, Monday's the best thing going in popular music right now. Not just in musical/technical terms, but in terms of having a healthy grasp of how to use the past (and the world) to create a present that lays the groundwork for the future. On the whole, Routes is the most stimulating, uplifiting and visionary popular music I've heard since the vintage Stevie Wonder albums of the early-mid 1970s.

I realize that's a bold statement, but I've been listening to a lot of her stuff over the last month, and I speak from the heart and, hopefully, the mind. This woman does have it going on, and in a big way. I doubt that her music can change the world :g , but like those great Stevie sides, it can give a sense of hope and excitement about what the future holds in store, not just for a select group of connoiseurs, but for everyday people.

Problem is, you gotta hear it first, and you gotta hear it with fresh, unjaded ears that are willing to believe. And you gotta be as unafraid of technology as you are unafraid of popular music as you are of hope.

The rodcast is here. Let those who have ears to hear hear!

Edited by JSngry

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The rodcast is here. Let those who have ears to hear hear!

With Rod's full permission, here's his comments on Monday from a recent e-mail exchange. This just about says it all, I think:

I'm a big fan of eclectic goodies!

I don't want her to be solely a jazz artist,

but more of a soul-ly creative artist.

She brings jazz sensibilities into a pop context

without sacrificing her creative evolution.

It's as if as soon as you "get the point" of the eclectic element -

"Oh, this is kind of a jazzy nu-soul type thang" - it's turned around

*intelligently* into some kind of ethnic rhythm stew.

Her stuff is definitely worthy of deep listening 'cause how does

someone create a song that has "world music" elements, but doesn't

sound like

something you'd hear at a hipper-than-thou Starbucks.

Also, there's so many irritating things about newer soul/jazz vocalists

(and I'm talking about the last couple of decades of Aretha wannabes

that don't really *understand* her gospel elements)

that I find practically RESOLVED right here in each of these CDs of

hers.

Norah Jones says that she doesn't wanna be recognized just as a jazz

vocalist?

Don't worry honey...Most of us never thought Ricky Lee Jones was either,

so I'm sure you don't have to worry.

Maybe the big labels don't sign her because she's not simply

an "up-front" kinda singer? ...that she actually works within and around

her musicians...that she has no fear of introducing a sound for the

thinking person?

hell, I don't know...all we can do is listen and spread the word when

folks ask

what we're listening to.

On last thing about singers saying they're trying "new" things:

It always reminds me of the guy who tells me how eclectic his music

tastes are

and it just turns out that he likes a half dozen different styles of

rock 'n' roll!

Bad folk singers saying they've changed their style drastically just

means

that they've switched to a *twelve* string guitar for the new album.

Not so with this girl...and I don't see it stoppin -

well, maybe in a decade or so due to age and comfort,

but you never know...

Rod, I owe you a BIG debt for giving me the hookup to a lot of these sides. Now, several hundred dollars later, I've got my own. And a few more.

Life is good!

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Aaaargh!

Damnit Rod... you just had to podcast this stuff, didn't you? I figured most of this stuff was just too expensive to take a flyer on buying a disc or two... so, if I never listen to Monday, I'll never be missing nothin', right? And that'll mean my wallet won't take a hit, right?

But nooooo... Jim keeps hypin' her, and then Rod throws something on the air for me to check out...

DAMN! This woman is G-G-G-GOOOOOOD!!! :D

THANK YOU Rod for putting this on the air, and THANK YOU Jim for letting me know about Monday!!! :tup

*Sigh* I can hear my credit card gently wimpering... it knows it's gonna get a smack down in the next few hours!

Cheers,

Shane

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I just ordered two Michiru CD's (4 Seasons & Routes), Nathan Davis' London by Night and Sonny Clark's Leapin' and Lopin' (all Japanese versions) for a total of $107.00 from HMV in Japan. My computer is misbehaving tonight, but try entering HMV.co.jp or do a search and click on the HMV Japan-Homepage. I've ordered from them before (Horace Tapscott's "In New York"). Service was excellent. Highly recommended website with fair prices. One that I don't recall seeing discussed on this board before.

Up over and out.

Edited by Dave James

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