Artist: Miho Hazama
Album: Imaginary Visions
01. I Said Cool, You Said…What?
02. Your Scenery Story
03. Mingle-Mangle Goody Bag
05. Mimi’s March
06. On That Side
Imaginary Visions is the visionary new album from Grammy-nominated conductor and composer Miho Hazama, featuring The Danish Radio Big Band – one of the leading jazz ensembles in Europe.
For Miho, this album represents a new era as part of a growing and blossoming international career.
“This is a significant milestone-moment for me. Since I have a classical music background, my brain sound has been more symphonic. However, The Danish Radio Big Band changed my perspective. They are so open and enthusiastic to new music. They can play diverse music with organic flow. I am extremely excited to work on this album”
One might expect Miho to struggle with identity: a Japanese musician working in New York and Europe, a classically trained composer with a love of jazz and modern composition, but in fact she doesn’t think about identity – working with people and with music she likes is the important thing.
However the need to “make everything comfortable between people”, to balance the cultural values and musical demands of her work, feeds into her identity as a composer working in these different cultural and musical environments. Her ability to balance her own musical interests with outfits as different as the Metropole Orkest, The Danish Radio Big Band and her New York ‘chamber group’ m_unit symbolises her ability to square the identity circle.
“I live for music”, she says. “My hobby is to go to music shows, I always listen to music, I like to talk about music. Doing something that I like for myself and hoping that this is inspiring and encouraging to others”, this is Miho’s creed.
In 2019, Miho took up a post as the chief conductor of Danish Radio Big Band (DRBB) following in the footsteps of Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeely (all early influences on Miho’s composing). Imaginary Visions is the first album with the DRBB to feature her compositions exclusively, and so is a career defining statement of her huge talent.
“These compositions are hugely inspired by DRBB members; their tone color, character of playing, strength, uniqueness and authenticity. Also, these are secretly inspired by compositions from the former chief conductors (music directors) of DRBB, such as Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer and JimMcNeely. Studying their compositions definitely made me remember their ways of harmony construction, music vibes, forms, rhythmic motives, orchestrations and composition/harmonization ideas. It’s not obvious “copy and paste”, but it is more of my way to explore and digest these master-composers’ ideas.”