17 Jun 2021

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Miho Wada - Album Review: Bumpy Road

10 Sep 2015 // A review by Andrew Smit

The Miho Jazz Orchestra (MJO) has produced another album bursting with character and full of vibrant music that is real and alive. With 9 instrumental tracks that take you on a musical journey, where the experience and its meaning is yours to interpret and enjoy, however the linear notes tells you how the inspiration and perspiration behind the songs are from Miho Wada’s “Bumpy” experiences with her pregnancy.

Indeed there is a dynamic mix with plenty of the fast and jovial beats that MJO are known for interspersed with some new slower and very expressive tracks, like the rolling Okinawa Daydream with wonderful flute and the most serene Violin that is just so probing and tender. Miho has a great band which she tours and records with and again they have crafted a tight and uplifting sound, the drums from Jared Desvaux de Marigny are faultless and expressive, while Violinist Pascal Roggen deserves a special mention, he treats us with broad and expressive traditional and electric violin throughout the album and seems like he is bursting with creativity. There is some sax but Miho’s instrument of choice is the Flute where in every measure you can hear the wonderful spirit and energy she has for the music, every tuneful moment her flute magically dances and draws you in with joyful delight. The guitar playing by Andrew Rudolph is excellent, with a superb solo in the chunky Mapua Funk which also has an amazing duel between sax, violin and clavinet.

The album's live room sound is very present and makes the music feel earthy and real, the drum rolls and solos sound great and have a wonderfully audible resonance and appeal. Plus there is the addition of a guest Takumi Motokawa who adds great Piano as well as some Xylophone and very funky Clavinet. The sweet and contemplative Rotorua San is amazingly beautiful with its gentle melody and pipe wind sounding flute, with another soaring Pascal Violin and smooth jazz like bass and piano complete this incredible song. The bands new Bass man Eamon Edmundson-Wells plays an ultra-groovy riff on Mutant Cake Patrol, and Pascal’s experimental violin sounds keeps you intrigued too.

Whether it’s Jazz, Samba, Funk or Reggae, the whole sound produced by the band just oozes charm and personality where the passion and expression shine throughout, it’s a delight for the senses, and so I recommend a trip on the Bumpy Road.


About Miho Wada

Miho Wada is a well established flute and saxophone player from Japan/New Zealand. She trained in Afro Cuban style of flute playing in Santiago de Cuba, Havana and London. She plays and sings a repertoire of her original songs and traditional Japanese music accompanied on Marimba, Violin, Guitar, Bass and Percussion, creating a cutting edge, contemporary world music sound.

Miho has performed in UK, USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Malta, France and Cuba.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Miho Wada


Oblong 20.5
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Accidental Journey
Year: 2018
Type: Album
New World Sympathy
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Bumpy Road
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Live At The Lab
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Exit 621
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Morning After (Digital Booklet)
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Para Ti
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Postcards To Your Bed
Year: 2010
Type: Album

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