Inspiring contrasts like strong and warm, comforting and demanding, smoky and silky, the dual vocal front-line of “Water Me!” delivers new takes on familiar jazz tunes with Water Me! from 2014. Vocalists Ayako Taira and Noriko Kotani harmonize and play off each other, syncing up or alternating in offset phrases as they combine, intertwine, and unspool melodies together.

Although the opening interpretation “Satin Doll” hints at jazz with an aggressive edge, the balance of the music shifts into standard jazz with some pop and ballads included. Whatever the setting, the music spotlights the two vocalists harmonizing and embellishing the melody lines, at times hand in hand, and at others passing the baton with grace and finesse.

Along with jazz swing, the album also features bossa on “The Girl From Ipanema”, ballad breathiness on “The Nearness of You”, a mysterious “Night in Tunisia” and striking “Moon River”, sultry pop sensitivity on “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, among other reinventions. One original pop tune, “The Night’s Gale”, is also included, laying down a nice groove with Japanese lyrics.

Water Me! by Water Me!

Released in 2014 on Sunmoon Music as SMCD-0005.

Japanese Names: Ayako Taira 平良亜矢子 Noriko Kotani 小谷のりこ Norihiko Kawakubo 川久保典彦 Yohei Tanaka 田中洋平 Tomohiro Ota 大田智洋

Audio and Video

Excerpt from "Satin Doll", the first track on this album:

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Feb 26, 2021