Miho Hazama – m_unit: Beyond Orbits (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:04:47 minutes | 1,32 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Edition Records
Beyond Orbits is the new album from composer and conductor Miho Hazama – a vibrant new album celebrating the 10 year anniversary of her ensemble M-Unit. Beyond Orbits is testament to Miho’s boundless creativity and artistic vision and to the remarkable growth of her career in Japan, Europe and the US in recent years. Beyond Orbits is an album born out of the challenges of the past few years.
Confined to a small apartment in Harlem, New York, during the pandemic, amidst a backdrop of intense political turbulence, including a divisive presidential election, Miho faced a profound sense of disconnection. But this is not album about the pandemic.
Redirecting her view beyond the tumultuous world, as previously the Afro-Futurists did, she decided to shift focus and began researching exoplanets. She found two with unique characteristics and decided to create a concept around them. After receiving a prestigious commission in 2021 from the Monterey Jazz Festival, Miho Hazama wrote a new work that resulted in the Exoplanet Suite, which pays homage to the captivating wonders of the exoplanetary realm. This idea became the core of Beyond Orbits with movements titled Electro Elliptical Orbits, As a Three Sunlight and Planet Nine.
What’s the single biggest difference writing music for your group “m_unit” than for a big band / jazz orchestra?
“m_unit is my absolute home-ground where I get to choose musicianship/personality to perform with. I admire them so much, as they all are some of the most inspiring people in my life.”
What does “Beyond Orbits” mean to you?
“My biggest motivation to make this album was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my debut with my “home” band: m_unit. Since m_unit’s last album in 2018, a lot in my career circumstance has changed, and it’s been quite challenging to find a good balance of work with so much responsibility. I feel like the “Orbits” here represent repetition of daily effort, struggle and passion towards music. Then “Beyond Orbits” becomes a hope of what I can discover after those efforts and experiences. This album is certainly a capture of myself, being as natural/honest as possible at this moment.”
How did the collaboration with Immanuel Wilkins and Christian McBride come about?
“This piece was originally written for Shiseido’s anniversary campaign. When I heard that their campaign theme is “Beauty from Inside (both physically and mentally)”, I immediately thought of Immanuel Wilkins’ emotional sound. His tone color and playing led me to come up with its melody and solo chord progressions. I usually do not come up with melodies first, so it was a special moment. In the studio, Immanuel plays astonishingly, to the point that some in the orchestra were blown away to forget their own parts!”
“I went to Christian McBride’s show in NYC, and I heard him playing the low open-string E note…and that was it. I felt like getting an electric shock. Since then, I wanted to compose something that he plays THAT note. His sound and groove means everything to this piece! It was absolutely a dream-come-true moment to have him perform it — He brought this piece to another groovy level that I had never experienced before.” – Miho Hazama
1-01. Miho Hazama – Abeam (07:38)
1-02. Miho Hazama – A Monk In Ascending And Descending (08:44)
1-03. Miho Hazama – Exoplanet Suite: I. Elliptical Orbit (feat. Christian McBride) (08:19)
1-04. Miho Hazama – Exoplanet Suite: II. Three Sunlights (07:26)
1-05. Miho Hazama – Exoplanet Suite: III. Planet Nine (10:11)
1-06. Miho Hazama – Can’t Hide Love (05:59)
1-07. Miho Hazama – Portrait Of Guess (07:57)
1-08. Miho Hazama – From Life Comes Beauty (feat. Immanuel Wilkins) (08:29)