For Hiromi Kanda, today is all about Days of Yesterday. That is the title of the sophomore album from this elegant, charismatic vocalist, to be released fall 2011 on the Music Gate label and distributed by the Warner Music Group company, ADA. Days of Yesterday pays tribute to the timeless American classics that Hiromi came to love while growing up in Japan. Although, physically, she was thousands of miles from the source of her inspiration when she first heard the songs of the now-iconic popular music craftsmen of the mid-20th century—the body of work we now refer to as the Great American Songbook—always spoke directly to Hiromi.
“I have enjoyed that sound and style all my life,” says the Nagasaki-born Kanda, who recently settled in Hawaii, where she and her husband, the prominent composer/producer Yusuke Hoguchi, have long owned a home. “I have always loved America’s great standards and the old movie musicals. I feel that the music of this period and genre in America—the classics written by Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Gus Kahn—as well as the wonderful arrangements of Nelson Riddle and Billy May, may be the most musical and romantic ever written. The feelings of romance and the stories about relationships are universal and will always touch people’s hearts. Much of the popular music of today lacks the poetry and sensitivities of the classic composers. Also, the big band sound makes it so big!”
In order to realize her musical dream and achieve that “bigness,” Kanda came to Hollywood, where she recorded Days of Yesterday—produced by Yusuke—at the legendary Capitol Studios with a full 50-piece orchestra. Working with Hiromi on the album were the multiple Grammy-winning producer/engineer Al Schmitt (Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, Diana Krall) and arranger Matt Catingub, a multi-instrumentalist, conductor and composer who has collaborated with Rosemary Clooney, Louie Bellson and numerous big bands and orchestras. The album also spotlights Joe Sample - best known as one of the founding members of jazz legends the Crusaders - on piano.
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