May's delivery is at times so genuine and kind, it is really a pleasure to listen to her...
Japanese vocalist May Okita recently departed Los Angeles where she spent several years developing her musical voice with some of the finest mentors and musical partners in jazz. Before moving back to Tokyo, she recorded this deeply personal album with two particularly inspirational and empathetic musicians: pianist Josh Nelson and guitarist Larry Koonse. Together, they explore many of the subtleties of the human heart - pleasure, sorrow, passion, calmness - her sonorous and poignant voice floating effortlessly over the Bernstein/Comden gem "Some Other Time," the Joni Mitchell classic "Both Sides Now," the Lou Carter, Herb Ellis, Johnny Frigo beauty "Detour Ahead," or May and Josh's own title song. "Art of Life" is a heartfelt debut for a promising new voice.
1. "Let's Face the Music and Dance" 3:46 - Irving Berlin
2. "Both Sides Now" 4:54 - Joni Mitchell
3. "Detour Ahead" 5:14 - Herb Ellis, John Frigo and Lou Carter.
4. "Art of Life" 4:50 - May Okita and Josh Nelson
5. "Blue Rose" 4:26 - Duke Ellington
6. "When She Loved Me" 5:05 - Randy Newman
7. "Some Other Time" 4:21 - Betty Comden, Adolph Green / Leonard Bernstein
8. "Smile" 3:47 - John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons and Charles Chaplin
9. "What a Difference a Day Made" 4:30 - Maria Grever / Stanley Adams
10. "Ev'ry Time We Say Good Bye" 4:31 - Cole Porter
Arranged by Josh Nelson
Produced by May Okita & Josh Nelson
Recorded by Talley Sherwood at TriTone Studios, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
on May 1-2, 2018
Additional recording on "Blue Rose" by Mineo Kasuga at KoKo Plaza, Osaka, Japan
Mixed by Talley Sherwood at TriTone Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Peter Doell at AfterMaster Audio Labs, Los Angeles, CA
Studio photographs by Mikel Healey & Dario Griffin
Cover design & layout by John Bishop