Yoko Miwa's life cycles

By JON GARELICK  |  November 9, 2011

A standout on the new album is Miwa's "Wheel of Life." As the title suggests, the piece has a circular theme. It starts with a wistful piano introduction that becomes more turbulent as bass and drums join her, then introduces a secondary theme — the melody that will become the core of the piece for the next 10 minutes. The theme pauses for a reflective bridge section, but always that "wheel" theme keeps (re)turning, growing in fury, dense with rhythmic chords, before it subsides. Here you can hear Miwa's orchestral sense of color and dynamics, and the tight interplay between herself, bassist Greg Loughman, and drummer Scott Goulding.

The album also includes a surprising couple of covers — Aerosmith's "Seasons of Wither" and the Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun," which she makes into a convincing ballad medley. Daring choices for a jazz pianist — and a long way from Mozart.

YOKO MIWA TRIO | Scullers, DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | November 17 @ 8 pm | $20 | 617.562.4111

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