Album Reviews

Michika Fukumori

Quality Time

Artist:     Michika Fukumori

Album:     Quality Time

Label:     Summit Records

Release Date:     06/03/2016


Quality Time, Michika Fukumori‘s second disc as a session leader, (Infinite Thoughts, 2014), opens light and lyrically with a Jule Styne’s perfect “Make Someone Happy,” immediately setting the tone for this expressive, straight from the heart trio recording.

With a delicate sense of flair and playful inventiveness, Fukumori leads nimble bassist Aidan O’Donnell and veteran drummer Billy Drummond (Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins) through eight lively standards (especially Ellington’s “Solitude” and Leonard Bernstein’s instantly poetic “Somewhere”) and four originals. Her playing, especially on her originals, the title tune, “The Story I Want To Tell You” and “Luz” displays a uniquely vocal quality, as if she were singing what she was playing. Produced by another jazz vet and Fukumori’s mentor, pianist Steve Kuhn, Quality Time revels in the joy of playing and expressing one’s self through music.

–  Mike Jurkovic

Got something to say?