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KIYOMI OTAKA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Japan


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Kiyomi Otaka biography
Kiyomi Otaka started at the age of six to play the organ, and has established mainly as a prolific Hammond B-3 player. Her musical career is dedicated to being a session musician, music teacher and publisher of several band scores (including an ELP one, called "Emerson, Lake & Palmer Best") through Sinko Music; but also a composer/arranger and since 1998 she started to record her solo albums, many of them being your regular organ-oriented jazz-rock (powerful organ-oriented jazz-rock, that is) and jam jazz.
One of those albums featured a super trio: OTAKA, renowned drummer DAVE WECKL and bassist GARRY WILLIS; it was released in 2001 and called "Out Of Sight". It was more leaning towards jam jazz, though you can hear some carefully structured parts.
In 2004, she released a more experimental album called "Frames" which has a certain Nu-Jazz sound to it, introducing electronic instrumentation and also psychedelic effects.
She also released an instructional video in 2000, exposing the playing style of various well-known artists.

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Discography:
Third Hand (1988)
Ambition (2000)
Out of Sight (2001)
Paragraph (2002)
Frames (2004)
Assure Live! / DVD (2007)

Kiyomi Otaka official website

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KIYOMI OTAKA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KIYOMI OTAKA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 2 ratings
Third Hand
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ambition
2000
4.33 | 5 ratings
Out Of Sight
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Paragraph
2002
4.00 | 2 ratings
Frames
2004

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KIYOMI OTAKA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Frames by OTAKA, KIYOMI  album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Frames
Kiyomi Otaka Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars FRAMES is another musical jewel of KIYOMI OTAKA-tha wonderful female Japanese player from Japan!This album is slightly different compared to the very demonstrative OUT OF SIGHT sensational album!Where OUT OF SIGHT is outstanding in terms of pure virtuosity and fantastic musicianship-HAMMOND ORGAN plus DRUMS and BASS instruments-FRAMES is definitely more adventurous and experimental under all aspects!The musicianship is outstanding as well and the guest artists on the album are monster musicians from JAPAN-the musical direction of FRAMES is really experimental sometimes and definitely goes into the unknown musical territories!Loops,samples and other percussion modern sounds are present,elements of techno sometimes-not in excess-all this ingredients are giving an increasing note of atractivity for this album,and Miss Otaka is proving one more time how classical HAMMOND ORGAN can find a perfect place in this kind of music!The sound is rich in expression and more compact in using different percussion elements on FRAMES compared to the fabulous OUT OF SIGHT-a milestone album in modern fusion,in my humble opinion!The other musicians involved in the project-KOICHI YABORi-on guitar -HIDEO YAMAKI on drums and TSUGUTOSHI GOTO on bass are all amazing players and icons in their home country JAPAN ,and not only- and they give a note of unity to the album ,delivering some amazing performances here which are proving that music is an endless inspiration when the alchemy between great artists is perfectly working!Overall FRAMES is undoubtedly an excellent album,a true impressive musical discovery from the land of the rising sun and amazing fusion musicians,a very catchy and diverse musical material ,definitelly for open minded listeners-maybe even not an easy listening at all ,but in the end a very satisfying and solid musical experience.4,5 STRONG STARS for a great musical experience!

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 Out Of Sight by OTAKA, KIYOMI  album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.33 | 5 ratings

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Out Of Sight
Kiyomi Otaka Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ovidiu

5 stars This is a high caliber album jazz rock orientated ,performed by 3 aces in the most spectacular way possible!Just think at the fury and unleashed passion of NIACIN and you'll have this album!When we look at the line-up-it's almost scarry to have the mighty DAVE WECKL on the drums plus the bass phenomenon GARY WILLIS together and the wonderful Hammond organ lady KIYOMI OTAKA in the same place and time!The satisfaction is guaranteed and the expectations are more then fulfilled and accomplished!IOUT OF SIGHT is the fruit of the musical passion of this 3 super musicians gathered together for something trully historical!I repeat-when we listen this kind of album ,we are wondering ourselves how far the musical wizzardry can go and if there are some human boundaries in musicianship and virtuosity?The answer is so simple and direct-FUSION JAZZ ROCK MUSIC DOESN'T HAS ANY LIMITS!This album is an ear candy and the display of the fantastic musicianship of the 3 magicians here is mindblowing!From furious fusion and agressive tracks to midtempo ones and quiet moments-each musician has his interventions in the song,without interrupting the fluency of the tracks,the alchemy being so perfect-the developement of each song is brilliantly made-sometimes in a crescendo form,but always attractive and catchy!KIYOMI OTAKA is simply outstanding on Hammond organ and keyboards-she is a marvelous musician and the simple fact that so high caliber musicians like WECKL and WILLIS are sharing with her this album-proves that women can really play virtuoso music and fusion at the highest level possible!Miss Otaka is a very respected and accomplished musician in his home country Japan-she played with monster musiciand from his country-guitarist KOICHI YABORI or drums phenomenon KOZO SAGUNAMA from FRAGILE among others!The sound on SIGHT OF HAND is perfect and the cohesion of the musicians is magical!I think that this kind of album is a true musical event,a happy moment in the history of music and we have to thank to this out of this world musicians-that they offered us a piece of their tremendeous talent !All our respect and endless admiration for a superbe and perfect album!5 STARS without any hesitation!

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 Third Hand by OTAKA, KIYOMI  album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Third Hand
Kiyomi Otaka Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The various musicians' supports in live. And, the tune is arranged. And, to bring up the musician in the future as an activity and a keyboard player of writing, it supports it. She always shows the talent in not only musician's face but also various fields. The existence of the woman who showed up suddenly for the item of Jazz/Fusion of Japan might have played the role of good priming in the field of Jazz Rock of Japan.

It is said that she started the organ at the age of six. And, it is guessed that ability as the composer was gradually acquired. A lot of Pianist of the woman exists in the field of Jazz/Fusion of Japan. However, it is a little unusual feeling the possession of the composition and the arrangement of the tune not to stay in standard Jazz by making good use of the organ like her. Because she announced debut CD, the field of Jazz/Fusion of Japan also gives the listener a very wide impression. Posture in which it challenges the Music's world with an original methodology is existence valuable for the item of the music of Japan.

It is guessed that the idea that she was saving by the time this debut album is announced was a content considerably enhanced. And, her career of training and considerable work is guessed to be continuous. She might have worked on this debut album as a result by exactly proud posture. Her talent will be known to surroundings at once.

Musicians who participated for the recording of this album are people known well in the field of Jazz/Fusion of Japan. Koichi Yabori participates in the guitar player. It belongs to the band that is called "Fragile" of Japan and work with other musicians is active to him. The member of the band in Japan that is called "Prism" is participating in Bass and Drum. The technology and these members' knowledge of the performance might be very superior. And, the fact for Kiyomi Otaka to receive these musicians' supports and to work on the recording made the greeting a listener for luck and her debut.

"Renoir" is a tune with which the technology and the idea of her organ are blocked. The processing of indeed complex theme and ensemble might be high-quality. The flow where it dashes is good and it is ..fused Jazz Rock.. finished in addition to standard Jazz. Her greeting explodes because of the beginning and invites the listener to the world.

"Commodore Funk" progresses in fast Passage while making the rhythm of seven basic. The band makes the oneness while multiusing the rhythm of Funk. The composition of Ad- Rib and the tune of the organ will try to have the feeling applied to the flow of Jazz Rock well. Other musicians' Ad-Rib and melodies also contribute.

"Drag Swing" ..hard theme.. has finished. The sense of the organ is announced while keeping the tension. The flow with individual Ad-Rib a complex melody is alternately multiused while shifting to the element of standard Jazz on the way will exactly become the part of Swing of this tune. However, because the technology of the performance has been completed to some degree, it has a little hard part as an overall impression. The guitar player is composing only this tune.

The impression to which it indeed listens to the element of Funk of "3rd Hand" easily is given. Musician's technology might certainly be high. However, a little loose impression might be given to the listener as a flow of the tune. It is not understood whether the empathy can be done even if the melody and the performance are considered.

"Safari" reflects the title as an impression of the tune. The part of hardness exists together from the obbligati of the organ to the part of the rhythm in the tune that is reminiscent of the impression of nature. An interesting impression is given as an idea.

"Dr. Owl" advances with the rhythm of Funk. The theme of the organ will twine round the very complexity and show one extension. Ensemble has succeeded as a band. Musicians who perform make an effort to perform the tune perfectly indeed. And, the tune that Kiyomi Otaka makes has the impression that doesn't rely on the technology.

"full moon" is a tune that gives the listener the relief in this album. The flow that progresses quietly by Solo of Bass listens to the extension of the width of the performance of the musician. The melody that Hammond B-3 that Kiyomi Otaka makes good use of is beautiful has good atmosphere. The flow of the ballade advances indifferently.

"POTOS" returns the flow of the album to the part of hardness. The idea of Kiyomi Otaka is concretely indeed done as a performance. The part where all members equally advance the performance might be indeed splendid. The impression of the tune has the part of Hard Rock. However, the extension is given to the part of the hardness of the tune by arranging the organ.

"Cool Duck" that decorates the end of the album progresses with the rhythm of a little Latin. It might be sure to have the sense of unity as the entire impression of the album. A complex rhythm and the melody might be parts good as the idea of Kiyomi Otaka. Of course, the musician who participated in the recording also contributes to the tune to the last minute.

The fan of Jazz Rock of Japan might have been surprised at music that she had had them listen in this debut album a little. It is processing of height of the technology and knowledge to her music and lofty performances. They might be very the charms.

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 Out Of Sight by OTAKA, KIYOMI  album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.33 | 5 ratings

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Out Of Sight
Kiyomi Otaka Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An excellent and pleasant listening!

Last year our friend from Venezuela Chus suggested Kiyomi Otaka for inclusion, wisely the collabs accepted, but sadly nobody has reviewed any of her albums yet.

Kiyomi Otaka is a very talented musician from Japan, her musical atittudes began when she was a kid, at the age of 6 years she started to play the organ, nowadays we can say she is a really trained organ (and keyboard) player. She has released so far (if im not wrong) 5 albums, being Out of Sight her third effort, and my introduction to her music. Let me tell you that she has played with several better known musicians, an example is that Dave Weckl is the drummer on this album, with that said, i would like to invite you to listen to Kiyomiīs great music, and in particular this album, released in 2001 and which contains 8 songs and a total time of almost 40 minutes.

As you guess (since i mentioned Weckl is in the album), her music is oriented to the jazzy side of prog, but i wouldnīt call it jazz/fusion itself. The album kicks off with #26, as a pure jazzy album the band consists of 3 people, keyboards, drums and bass, since the beginning of this song you will notice the exquisite organ playiing of Kiyomi, and itīs obvious that her keys are what lead us to enjoy the music, of course Wecklīs drumming is exquisite as usual. Still Moment is a soft song that reminds me to some Focus moments (exclude the flute please), the music is really enjoyable, and may put you in the mood, itīs very warm. Bugs is one of my favorite moments here, it begins with the bass jamming of Gary Willis, then Kiyomi and Dave enter simultaneously and create a very cool song, though i wouldnīt say her playing is superb nor call her a virtuoso, itīs not a lie when i say she is a trained musician, you will notice it immediately. Departure starts a little bit heavier, the style within the songs is pretty alike actually, i would say she has found her own style, and thatīs a big deal, here we will find great bass playing and a cool interaction between the members. Like a Sandglass the bass is the first you will hear in this song, along with some keys atmospheres at first sight, this song is maybe the softest of them all, Willisī bass sound is clean and makes the song even better, your ears will feel pleased with it. Central Junction is yet another funky and jazzy song, that again puts you in the mood, the playing of the 3 musicians is excellent, there is an exceptional bass playing here, and Kiyomiīs keys are always in the right place even there are some solo moments that are incredible, it is not a superb thing, but i really like it. Kidīs Doors starts a bit heavier and with a sound closer to the fusion style but then it slows down a bit and makes a sound now closer to the symphonic one, the drumming is excellent, this is also the shortest song of the album. Comodore Funk is the one that finishes it all, the lat song of an album which follows the same style and line in all of itīs songs, there are no weak moments, nor oustanding ones, as the title of this song says this is another kind of funky jazz, itīs nothing new, actually a song alike to the previous one.

I particularly enjoy a lot listening to this album, i donīt feel tired of listening to the same style, on the other hand, the more i listen to it the more pleased i am, with the talent of Kiyomi Otaka, and of course of Weckl and Willis Give a listen to Kiyomi Otaka, you wonīt regret, 3.7 stars...so 4 Enjoy it!

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