Without You
About "Without You"
Junko Ebihara Bio
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Without You
The new album by Junko


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 dynamite!".

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.

Yoshiaki Masuo
August, 2008