ABOUT THE ALBUM
This is a project that
almost didn't happen, but turned out to be one of the
most memorable recordings I've produced.
When my friend Seichi Nakamura (ts)
approached me about producing this album, he was planning
to come to New York City in September and thought that
would be a good time to do it. I'd never heard of Junko
Ebihara and although we e-mailed a bit, it was a busy
time for me, and with one thing and another, time went
by and somehow we lost contact.
While visiting Japan in August, I got
to speak to Junko on the phone and was ready to tell
her I couldn't do it. But her passion for this project
came through so clearly to me that it changed my mind.
I thought Mark Soskin (p) would be good for the recording,
so I called him from Japan and had him put a band together.
I first met Junko at my studio, to go
over the music the day before the recording. She sat
down at the piano and started to sing, using all the
energy in her little body. Mark and I just looked at
each other with pleasant surprise and smiled. We knew
it was going to be a good recording. The next day at
the recording, Junko's energy inspired the whole band
into some great playing. She sang fifteen songs in one
day's session without a problem. Everyone marveled at
that - one musician commenting, "She's a little
When Junko sings it comes from her heart
and hits yours directly. No matter what she sings, she
makes it her own style, and she sings not only standards,
but a wide variety of styles, also writing her own music,
like the title song of this album, "Without You".
I think her singing is special and I'd like to introduce
it, and her, to the world.