Imaginary Visions Miho Hazama
- 1I Said Cool, You Said…What?06:45
- 2Your Scenery Story08:10
- 3Mingle-Mangle Goody Bag07:21
- 5Mimi’s March08:12
- 6On That Side08:01
Info for Imaginary Visions
One of the most promising and talented composer/arrangers of her generation, Grammy-nominated Miho Hazama releases her inspired new album, Imaginary Visions - her first album to feature the Danish Radio Big Band of which she is chief conductor.
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.”
Danish Radio Big Band
Miho Hazama, conductor
Grammy-nominated composer, Miho Hazama is one of the most promising and talented composers/arrangers of her generation. Lauded in Downbeat as one of “25 for the Future”, Miho developed her signature jazz chamber orchestra “m_unit”. Now having 3 full length releases on Universal Music Japan/ Sunnyside Records, Miho has written for and expertly showcased the abilities of guest artists such as Joshua Redman, Lionel Loueke, Stefon Harris, and Gil Goldstein, to name a few. Her debut album “Journey to Journey” received the Jazz JAPAN rising star award, and she has been featured in such influential publications as Downbeat, The New York Times, NPR, JazzTimes among others.
Composition is her true calling, and in addition to her effort with m_unit, she has created works for many different musical contexts. Most notably, she has composed for Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Ashley Bouder Project Ballet Company, Yamaha Symphonic Band, to name a few. Miho became a composer in residence of Siena Wind Orchestra in 2017, and she is a composer of the year 2019 of Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.
In 2019, Miho took up a post as the chief conductor of Danish Radio Big Band after Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeely, to name a few. Besides DR Big Band, Miho has worked as a conductor with Metropole Orkest, WDR Big Band and Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, to name a few. She is also the Associate Artistic Director of the New York Jazzharmonic.
As an arranger, Miho has worked for many ensembles for concerts, recordings, television and film, including Metropole Orkest, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Vince Mendoza, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Shiro Sagisu and many more.
Miho’s awards and honors include the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize (2015), 24th Idemitsu Music Award (2014), ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award (2011), and she was a Scholarship Recipient of the Manhattan School of Music (2010). She has a degree in classical composition from the Kunitachi College of Music and a masters degree in jazz composition from the Manhattan School of Music, and was honored by the Scholarship Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists from the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. “…quickly became a talked-about writer and arranger.” - The New York Times
“...classy large ensemble that keeps the listener guessing and enchanted...something is always lurking and ready to pounce; then skitter away again.” - Jazz Times
“At a time when orchestral jazz is either ultra- polished, exceedingly high brow, or a pedestrian pandering to sentimental tastes of yore, Hazama’s boldly organic and singularly exciting collective is a breath of fresh air. Her uncanny ability to remain intellectually stimulating and vibrantly spirited is what makes her work singularly innovative.” - All About Jazz
This album contains no booklet.