Pia no Jac First Contact Album Review

→Pia no Jac←from Osaka, Japan, present a driving fusion of jazz, rock and J-pop on this This piano-cajón duo's debut album.

→Pia no Jac←was founded in 2005 by pianist Hayato Tatsunari and percussionist Tadahiro “Hiro” Moritomi. The band name is a combination of Hayato and Hiro's instruments: “piano” and “cajón”.

In the early days, the pair performed everywhere from footbridges and shopping malls to ballet classes and night clubs. The duo has since performed in France, Thailand and Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

This jazz group's music is a jazz fusion that incorporates J-pop, Jazz, Rock and Classical. Hayato and Hiro describe their music as “hybrid instrumental” and they seek to entertain audiences with their technical ability, showmanship and humor shine through.

→Pia no Jac← has worked with several heavy hitters in the Japanese entertainment industry, including commercial creator, Michihiko Yanai, composer/director Joe Hisaishi, ARASHI and SQUARE ENIX. The duo have released nine albums to date.

First Contact Highlights

The opening track, “Suite Quote-unquote” is a fast-paced number that showcases the music duo's hybrid style. The opening theme is sounds like a piano exercise performed at a breakneck tempo, but when combined with a frenetic groove on the cajón, it becomes something different. It then switches from a Latin flavor to a bit of swing.

"Floral Heartstring (Canon)" (Track 4) is a sweet number. The piece is Baroque in form (canon), while the melody is romantic in nature. The cajón is very subtle, allowing the dreamy melody to soar throughout on the piano.

The final track, “Jack” brings the album to a dramatic close. It's an aggressive blend of boogie and rock. The piano has several boogie and blues licks, containing equal doses of syncopated rhythms and rapid chromatic runs. Rock and combined with a driving galloping groove resound on the cajón.

First Contact is fun album with catchy tracks that showcase this music duo's “hybrid instrumental” style. One word of advice from one listener to another: If you tend to have a lead foot on the gas pedal, do not drive while listening to the fast numbers on this album (or any →Pia no Jac← album, for that matter). This album is bound to raise any listener's energy level.

First Contact Track Listing

  1. Suite Quote-unquote
  2. Erosion
  3. Run Rabbit Run
  4. Floral Heartstring (Canon)
  5. blue moon
  6. Jack
  7. BONUS: First Contact  contains the video clip of 組曲『 』(Kumikyoku)

Produced by: Keiichi Kato

Label: Shinko Music Records, 2008

Check out Pia no Jac's music at CD Japan by clicking the icon below:

First Contact / Pia-no-jaC
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