||Underwater Whisperer by Masako
Album Review by Dyan Garris for Zone Music Reporter and New Age CD
The album, ‘Underwater Whisperer,’ by pianist Masako, is like a sparkling jewel one discovers at the seashore. A special treasure, this is simply beautiful. – Dyan Garris
What lies beneath in the mysterious depths of the Earth’s bodies of water? Here in the fourth album from award-winning pianist, Masako, we get a spectacular glimpse of these mysteries.
Produced by Will Ackerman with sound engineering by Tom Eaton, Masako is joined on “Underwater Whisperer” by a host of impressive guest talent, including, Eugene Friesen, Premik Russell Tubbs, Jeff Pearce, Jeff Haynes, and Noah Wilding.
“Three Talkative Brooks in Spring Meadow” is a lovely and perfect opener to this album. This is nice piano solo – one of four on this album – and here we can hear three different streams conversing in their own special flow and harmony.
Gorgeous, flowing, dreamy piano on “Sea Pearls,” and the addition of Eugene Friesen on masterfully performed cello, with Premik Russell Tubbs on alto flute, gives incredible depth and richness to the mix. It’s a favorite.
“The Deep,” featuring Masako on synthesizer, is enhanced pulchritude with Jeff Pearce on the Chapman Stick, and the ethereal, other-worldly vocals of Noah Wilding. This is soothing and hauntingly beautiful.
The second solo piano piece is “Coral Reef Blues.” This is tantalizing and emotionally evocative. We can literally feel the anguished lament of the coral of the sea, which is a living entity, as we know. Listen carefully, then, as the song, very well composed and played, is quite alive as well.
“Legend of the Emerald Forest” is outstanding; utterly outstanding in every way. You may be wondering what a forest has to do with what is being whispered by the spirits of water. I believe this song is based upon the movie, “The Emerald Forest,” which was based upon a true story. To briefly summarize, a dam was built by outsiders in a rain forest. The indigenous people did not want it, destroyed it, and afterward went back to being happy with the water the way it was previously. Water is life and water is sacred. Here, Masako gives a stellar piano performance blending wonderfully with Premik Russell Tubbs on wind synthesizer. Noah Wilding is here with those haunting vocals, along with Jeff Pearce on the Chapman Stick, and the rich cello by Eugene Friesen, plus shimmery percussion by Jeff Haynes. The mix by Tom Eaton is true perfection.
“Monologue,” the third piano solo on the album, is up next. This is perfectly lovely as well. “Salmon Run” masterfully captures the spirit of running salmon in this lively, yet soothing tune. Masako is on piano, while Jeff Haynes adds ideal percussion, and we have Tom Eaton on bass. Premik Russell Tubbs is featured on the wind synth, and we are treated to the lovely wordless vocals of Noah Wilding again.
Deep and darker, “Moonlit Iceberg and its Whereabouts” features Masako on piano, Eugene Friesen on cello, and Premik Russell Tubbs on wind synth. This is beautiful, graceful, flowing, and contemplative.
Opening with the cello and lightened by Masako’s piano performance, the title track, “Underwater Whisperer,” is very deep. One can almost hear the ethereal, whispered, conversations of whales, and perhaps dolphins, speaking their own special language. The track also features Tom Eaton on bass, Eugene Friesen on cello, Jeff Haynes on percussion, along with Jeff Pearce on the Chapman Stick. Excellent.
The fourth piano solo is “Dim Light.” Effortless, calming, and peaceful to the soul, this is beautiful from beginning to end. The tranquil “Time Indefinite” perfectly closes out the album, with Eugene Friesen’s breathtakingly beautiful cello performance, and Premik Russell Tubbs on wind synth, both blending wonderfully with Masako’s gorgeous piano performance. Superb, all.
Get “Underwater Whisperer” here or wherever music is sold/streamed: https://www.masako-music.com/
Broadcast & Media Promotion
Ed & Stacey Bonk