Yukimi & Harvie S, New York Memories Review
by Jeff Becker
New York Memories, the second collaboration between Yukimi Maeda and Harvie S, offers a diverse repertoire of Great American Songbook standards, jazz standards, and two original compositions by Harvie S. With special appearances from NEA master Sheila Jordan and a solo piano rendition of Erroll Garner’s “Misty.” The duet successfully explores the richness of the jazz genre with their unique touch, and the album showcases the undeniable chemistry between the duo.
New York Memories showcases the duo’s growth from their previous project, I’ll Close My Eyes. Their musical rapport is evident in their shared improvisational language and advanced interaction. The album’s atmosphere ranges from buoyant and fluid to introspective and intimate. While the overall listening experience is enjoyable, a minor quibble is the recording quality. “Autumn in New York,” “All the Things You Are,” and “I Hear a Rhapsody” suffer from lesser sound quality, which could have been better addressed during the recording, mixing, and mastering process.
“Time Remembered” highlights the duo’s strong influences from Bill Evans and bassist Scott LaFaro, with Yukimi’s piano solo showcasing her impressive chord voicings and development. “My Shining Hour,” on the other hand, offers a more energetic listening experience, with an imaginative intro, ending, and melodic ideas from Yukimi and a stirring solo from Harvie.
The album’s closing track, “Danny Boy,” featuring Sheila Jordan, provides a fitting finale to the record. The trio’s performance of this classic standard is both heartfelt and skillful, leaving a lasting impression on the listener.
New York Memories is a charming experience that captures the essence of the musical partnership between Yukimi Maeda and Harvie S. The duo’s undeniable chemistry and skillful playing shine through, offering an engaging listening experience for jazz aficionados.