～ A journey of emotions with a song loving pianist～
On a cold New Year’s Eve, I ventured out on
a rare excursion to listen to some jazz in a cosy venue.
That was the night I met with the sound of
George Nagata’s piano, playing along to the voice of a singer that I knew. Something
in his music caught my attention, which led me to continue the journey with
one, yet another of his jazz infused performances across the city of Tokyo.
What makes his piano special is the emotional
connection in his music like no other, which becomes an addiction for many in
Yet he is also a genius in finding musical gems
in the rough, guiding them on a road that may even supersede him. His hands are
if they hold a magical wand, teasing out what his co-performers themselves may
not know they have within. His piano intertwines with their voices, their
instruments, creating a dramatic, yet warm sounding environment.
And this ability doesn’t stop with live
It can be hard to top the excitement and
atmosphere of music being created right in front of your eyes. But whether it
is because he is blessed with the support of great technical engineers, or has
chosen the perfect recording studios, his magic also seems to touch the many
albums he has produced with these up and coming artists. They are indeed, some
of the most played albums that I hold of artists close by.
His love for vocal miracles is not a hidden
secret, given his quarterly “Vocal Crossing” series, counting over thirty,
aiming for one hundred. His production skills are put to the test in these
series, which he co-produces with singer Daisuke Ito, inviting two exciting
guest singers each time.
As for his piano, it has been evolving day
by day, the freedom increasing by each performance. Not to mention the
occasional chorus, voice percussion, and very rarely, rap (!) that seems to develop
and in some cases even take centre place over the melody played by his hands.
Though sensitive, sweet music can be heard
from the chords he plays, his comedic interaction with his musical partners can
take you on an additional laughing spree. For this, there is nothing better
than experiencing the world-class trio “Triple Standards” including George, guitarist
Naoto Suzuki and his trusted vocal companion Daisuke Ito.
Have I intrigued you? Trained in the West Coasts with musical
connections across the continents, who knows which corner he may turn up in next.