Pianist Art Hirahara turns his attention above and within and blasts off “Sunward Bound” for his fourth leader album for Posi-Tone. Reaching steadily towards new realms of expression, Hirahara perseveres steadily along on his musical journey of unfoldment. “Sunward Bound” displays a clear sense of creative continuity that can be traced back on his previous albums from his joyous first steps along the “Noble Path” through his trials and tribulations of “Libations And Meditations” and into his deep explorations of the distant pathways in the “Central Line.”
Once again Hirahara succeeds in creating a bold impassioned statement that also features significant and meaningful contributions from his trusted collaborators tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Rudy Royston. The program of original compositions are lyrical and clearly suggestive of a modern jazz sensibility, but the focus of the music always remains straight forward with some hard swinging highlights. With an amazing combination of talents, brilliant performances, and an evocative program of new original compositions, “Sunward Bound” is sure to bring bright moments of intense delight to serious listeners and jazz fans everywhere.
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