Keigo Hirakawa is a jazz pianist living in Dayton, Ohio. This work will be his third work as a leader. About the album "PIXEL"
This is an eight-song straight-ahead jazz album recorded in August 2022 at a studio in Michigan, USA.
The band consists of five members: Keigo Hirakawa (piano), Raphael Statin (wind instrument), Scott Coleman (guitar), Robert Hurst (bass), and Alex White (drums). Scott Coleman is also producing.
When I saw this line-up, the first thing I noticed was that Robert Hurst was participating.
Robert Hurst was born in 1964. His work with Wynton Marsalis in the latter half of the 1980s and his collaboration with Branford Marsalis left an impression on him. Although he is recognized as a central member of a syndicate that tried a unique approach, he recently performed a thunderous bass in JATROIT led by Junko Onishi (the Japan tour on the album was held in February 2019). ), I expected that the vector of this "Pixel" would also follow the straight-ahead jazz of the 1980s. I started listening with high expectations, wondering what kind of synergy would be created, and whether it would be a performance that would allow me to experience the chemical reaction unique to pianist Keigo Hirakawa, as if confronting Robert Hurst's project "Unrehurst".
However, I noticed that the expected value vector was misplaced in the album title song that brings about the geometric image at the beginning.
This is because the pieces of the song were gradually transformed, and each person's solo exploded in an elaborate ensemble, creating a song with a thoughtful planning.
As for the ensemble, the presence of guitarist Scott Coleman is effective as a glue for the sound, and judging from the sound creation, perhaps Keigo Hirakawa has entered the next phase of what he wants to do as a pianist. Each song emits a heat that suggests that they thought of this work as a statement of determination.
And this is something I have to say to Japanese fans, but this work is a sound established by American jazz idioms, and does not belong to the category of so-called J-jazz.
It is a work that was born because of the dual career that Keigo Hirakawa has accumulated, and that is why in the past few years, the world has become more closed and divided. can be said to have become About Keigo Hirakawa
Keigo Hirakawa, who has shown an interest in music since he can remember, began learning the organ at the age of three and the piano at the age of four. Instead, he spends his elementary school days playing the piano with a sense of fun, such as transposing Chopin's music and fantasizing about being an orchestra conductor.
When he was 11 years old, he moved from Tokyo to Ohio, but because he could not speak English at all, he gave up piano and devoted himself to his studies.
As a result, by the time I entered high school, I was able to afford to do music, and started playing with a clarinet and a saxophone.
A music summer camp in high school brought him back to the piano.
While majoring in engineering at university, he would sneak into the music building in the middle of the night, practice the piano until dawn, then return to the dormitory, take a nap, and attend classes.
Around this time, he began to study under many professional musicians, but he said he learned a lot from Stephen Scott.
Stephen Scott is one of my favorite pianists, and when he came to Japan with Sonny Rollins, he played so wonderfully that he bought his leader's works.・It was a Rollins concert.
It seems that he sneaked into the dressing room after the Rollins concert and started the relationship of master and pupil, but I can sympathize that Stephen Scott's play was wonderful enough to make me feel like that.
In the career path of Keigo Hirakawa, who went on to graduate school, the path of making a living with music was supposed to fade, but when he learned that the management of the jazz department at the university was not going well, he helped him. My passion for jazz rekindled.
Although he wanted to be an engineer, he realized that he could not give up jazz, so he decided to choose a "dual career" that would not give up either, increasing the number of hurdles in front of him.
While attending the New England Conservatory of Music, he wrote technical papers and received his doctorate in engineering in 2005.
On the other hand, at the New England Conservatory of Music, he continued to practice in order to overcome the handicap of being a late graduate student engineer and pianist. After graduating with her master's degree, she went on to become a regular at Boston's famous jazz clubs.
And now, Keigo Hirakawa continues his dual career as a professional jazz pianist and an engineer teaching engineering at the University of Dayton.