7 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Two superstars of the contemporary jazz circuit, Bob James and Keiko Matsui combine their formidable skills on Altair & Vega. Matsui’s known for her spiritual and naturalistic vibe, referencing outer space and the elements while exploring multiple styles (smooth jazz, funk, new age). James put out his first record in 1962, but he’s best known for a long string of instrumental hits in the '70s and '80s (most notably the Taxi theme, "Angela,” as well as "Nautilus" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," both of which have been sampled by an wide array of hip-hop producers). Fittingly, the album’s title references two of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The seven songs here are straight piano with no outside instrumentation, and for the most part they’re mellow, dreamy, and peaceful. "Divertimento" picks up the pace a bit, while "Midnight Stone" and "Invisible Wing" feature flourishing melodies and multiple changeups. More classically minded than some of their other work, it's still an enjoyable listen from two legendary performers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Two superstars of the contemporary jazz circuit, Bob James and Keiko Matsui combine their formidable skills on Altair & Vega. Matsui’s known for her spiritual and naturalistic vibe, referencing outer space and the elements while exploring multiple styles (smooth jazz, funk, new age). James put out his first record in 1962, but he’s best known for a long string of instrumental hits in the '70s and '80s (most notably the Taxi theme, "Angela,” as well as "Nautilus" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," both of which have been sampled by an wide array of hip-hop producers). Fittingly, the album’s title references two of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The seven songs here are straight piano with no outside instrumentation, and for the most part they’re mellow, dreamy, and peaceful. "Divertimento" picks up the pace a bit, while "Midnight Stone" and "Invisible Wing" feature flourishing melodies and multiple changeups. More classically minded than some of their other work, it's still an enjoyable listen from two legendary performers.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

TheMFM ,

Outstanding Mastery

Wow! No other way to start off a description of this selection of music. You begin with two outstanding artists with fantastic collections in their own right. Put them together and watch the magic happen! If you know the history of both Bob James and Keiko Matsui then you know they share the common characteristic of being child prodigys, Bob here in the US and Keiko in Japan. Fast forward through their collections to this production and you have the rare opportunity to hear them both really show off the true mastery of the piano they each have with their own unique style.

Sit back and listen and you can hear who is playing what with the variations of touch, style and phrasing, all the time marveling at how two masters can both sound fantastic and different at the same time. I suppose the real mastery is demonstrated in how seamlessly these two come together to make a sound so wonderful together.

I am excited to see two of my favorite artists come together in a single collaboration. Hey, David Benoit, care to join the fun?

Arthur

Easy Dog ,

Altair & Vega

Two fantastic artists. I've liked Bob James since Grand Piano Canyon. This tops it all. Pure piano deliciousness.

mr.keys98 ,

THE BEST PIANO DUO EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob James has influenced me so much! I stumbled upon these 2 performing these songs live!!! It was an unbelievable show if only I was able to be there would’ve been amazing!!!! For a 16-year old guy who plays piano I’m taking this all in!!!!!

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