2015/8/23

Introducing the m_unit (1)  

Happy weekend! As I'm going to write some notes about my new album "Time River" once a week till the album release, I would like to introduce my chamber orchestra, m_unit!

Cam Collins
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He is a great, great friend of mine since I met him at MSM (Manhattan School of Music). When I heard his sound in the first class, I was blown away! Very thick, dry, solid-- absolutely my favorite sound. He also has such an amazing time feel that is very elastic. He's sometimes out of time, but then comes back in time and helps to build the music. It's magical. He's out of town right now and we all are missing him!
http://www.camcollinsjazz.com/

Ryoji Ihara
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He has the longest tenure with the band-- I've been playing with him for almost 10 years! Oh wow. We've shared so many things about music, since he is a great composer as well (you have to check out his albums, these are amazing!!). I wanted a kind of pop-music-influenced sound on the tenor, and couldn't help inviting him to NYC for the past two recordings. I love seeing the other band members always looking up to him like girls looking up to a pop star after his solos lol. He is actually coming to play our CD release show at the Jazz Standard all the way from Tokyo! Yay!!
http://ihararyoji.com/

Andrew Gutauskas
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He is one of my besties here in NYC! My team called him "Mr. Perfect" because he barely made mistakes at the recording. For my music, accuracy is very important in the low parts. His playing has been very supportive to my music, as his personality has been to my life. He also has a wide variety of tone color; I love that. Oh, and he is a good whiskey-mate to me, too. :p
http://www.andrewgutauskas.com/

Matthew Jodrell
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This genius guy means so much to my music. I know that my music is quite challenging, but his part is probably the hardest. He has the responsibility of keeping the balance of the ensemble, and I expect quality tone color/pitch from both the classical and jazz idioms. He nails everything, and he always makes the rhythm section excited when he solos. Seriously, this guy is so special.
http://www.matjodrell.com/

Adam Unsworth
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What a small world. I knew him from Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans project, but a little later, I found out that this amateur wind symphony orchestra in Japan played a piece from my previous record that I re-orchestrated for them, and Adam was a guest soloist on the piece! He can keep up with any rhythm/beat on that complicated instrument, and also has a beautiful sound. The other role for him is to be a bridge of horn section and string section, and he is great at it! It's a dream come true to have him on the recording.
http://adamunsworth.net/

Alex Brown
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He used to be my neighbor, and the only time I heard his playing before I called him to play my music was his practicing at his place. I noticed his great tone color right away. Besides, he has this unbelievable skill to read charts. I sometimes indicate very specific and complicated things on the piano part…I do that only because he can do it, and he can even develop from there…I have too many geniuses here!
http://www.alexbrownmusic.com/

Sam Anning
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Another low part that needs to be very reliable. This guy is perfect for my music. I love his sound, and he:s very good at balancing stability and freedom in his bass lines and solos. His playing is so "cantabile" all the time; maybe it's because he is also a great guitarist/singer. We were classmates at MSM, and he has been playing my music since my very first concert in NYC-- I'm always amazed to see my bass charts after gigs, because he NEVER writes anything on those complicated charts and he still nails everything all the time!
http://www.samanningmusic.com/

-- okay, to be continued to the next week :)
You can pre-order our 2nd album "Time River" here!!!
We also have a sticker and a bonus YouTube video available as a special reward!
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