Hitomi Nishiyama’s 2011 album Music In You features an established trio that shares a cohesive sensibility, creating beautiful textural moods with European-flavored jazz influences. As befits a group of skilled jazz musicians, the players breathe as one while creating textures of sound, restrained yet deep with emotion.

Like the gracefully knotted thread art on the album cover, Nishiyama’s music also seems to be composed of delicate lines, intricately flowing and interweaving to create a weightless construction of deep substance.

The music designs atmospheres of melancholy, brilliance, and intoxicating nostalgia. The songs are all of a piece, reflecting a careful sensitivity and attention paid to composition, with improvisation that reflects the musician’s inner voice on display as the group shifts and supports together.

All of the compositions on Music In You are by Nishiyama, several with novel titles like “Kinora”, “Syneya”, “Unfolding Universe”, “Exhibiting the ‘NOW’”, and “T.C.T. ~Twelve Chord Tune~” — a descendant of and tribute to Bill Evans’s “T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune)”, a clever musical experiment based on tone rows.

Alongside these are songs with more direct titles, such as “Standing There”, “Pictures”, “Pathos”, and “Just By Thinking Of You”. With the considered imagery of both compositional and title choices on Music In You, the musical and literary personality of the accomplished pianist can be further appreciated and understood. Yet words can only go so far. The best way to get the music in you is to listen.

Music In You by Hitomi Nishiyama Trio

Released in 2011 on Meantone Records as MT-002.

Japanese Names: Hitomi Nishiyama 西山瞳 Yasuhiko "Hachi" Sato 佐藤“ハチ”恭彦 Kazumi Ikenaga 池長和美 Ryosuke Hashizume 橋爪亮督

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Mar 9, 2018 (Updated Aug 12, 2021)