Discover more from Jazz of Japan
Naoko Akimoto: No One Else
Vocalist Naoko Akimoto’s debut release No One Else is a seven-song introduction to the popular singer, a presentation of standard jazz and Japanese pop arranged with care and performed by top musicians from Tokyo.
The arrangements are nice, particularly on the opening track “Moondance” which opens with a deep bass, piano, and vibes setting up a grove for Akimoto to lead the listener through the atmospheric drama of the tune. The decorated arrangements include vocal harmonies with trumpet, flute, and other instruments adding beautiful layers to the music.
After the classy opener, the album continues with the title track “No One Else”, a soulful pop ballad written by Akimoto. The remaining five tracks include three jazz standards: the chaste “I’ve Got A Crush On You”, a sultry “This Masquerade”, and a tender, bossa-flavored “Fly Me To The Moon”. While Akimoto sings in English for most of the album, she chooses to sing in Japanese for two pop songs, “Sentimental” and “Ajisai”, adding to the musical variety and showing us more of Akimoto’s range and affection on her album debut.
No One Else by Naoko Akimoto
Naoko Akimoto - vocal
Seiji Endo - piano
Akiyoshi Shimizu - bass
Ko Omura - drums
Shinpei Inoue - flute
Yasuhiro Matsuda - alto sax
Shinpei Ruike - trumpet
Released in 2012 on Marmalade Records as MARM-0004.
Japanese names: Naoko Akimoto 秋元直子 Seiji Endo 遠藤征志 Akiyoshi Shimizu 清水昭好 Ko Omura 大村亘 Shinpei Inoue 井上信平 Yasuhiro Matsuda 松田靖弘 Shinpei Ruike 類家心平
Audio and Video
Excerpt from "Fly Me to the Moon", the last track on this album: