Hiromi Kanda, the acclaimed Japanese vocalist with a penchant for the Great American Songbook, has completed her sophomore album, Days of Yesterday. Scheduled for release on September 13th on the Music Gate label (distributed by Warner Music Group/ADA), the follow up to Kanda’s critically acclaimed 2010 debut Hiromi in Love features both more timeless classics and new, original material penned by Kanda and her husband, Yusuke Hoguchi. Hoguchi, a prominent composer in his own right, served as the album’s producer.
Arranged by Matt Catingub (Rosemary Clooney, Louie Bellson), who also conducted the 50-piece orchestra, and engineered by multiple Grammy-winner Al Schmitt (Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall, Ray Charles), Days of Yesterday was recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood in the summer of 2010.
“What an unexpected treat to work with Hiromi, whom I never worked with before,” says Schmitt. “She has a wonderful voice and has love and respect for that classic era of music. She’s a great talent.”
Days of Yesterday extends Kanda’s reach via lush orchestrations and sophisticated arrangements and showcases the expanded vocal palette of Hiromi, whose love for the giant songwriters of yesteryear such as Cole Porter and the Gershwins knows no bounds. On Days of Yesterday Kanda offers her interpretations of such proven gems as “All of Me,” “I Love Paris,” “Smile,” “Stella by Starlight” and “It Had to Be You.” The set’s three original compositions fit in cozily alongside the classics and one, titled “Goodnight Yesterday,” spotlights the great Joe Sample—best known as one of the founding members of jazz legends the Crusaders—guesting on piano.
“It was a wonderful experience to record with Hiromi,” says Sample. “The choice of material was exceptional and her performances were heartfelt. That adds up to a fantastic day!”
Writing about Hiromi In Love, JazzTimes Magazine said, “Blessed with a solid voice and an impressive sense of time, Hiromi sings in a style that suggests the smokiness of Marlene Dietrich crossed with the lilt of Astrud Gilberto,” while the Honolulu Star Bulletin declared, “This romantic nostalgic album by Japanese vocalist Hiromi Kanda has a timeless beauty.”
For Hiromi, the experience of recording Days of Yesterday was a career highlight. “I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such talented people as Al Schmitt, Matt Catingub, Joe Sample and the wonderful musicians at Capitol Studios,” she says. “And I’m excited to share my interpretations of the songs of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Eubie Blake and many great composers on my second album.”
Days of Yesterday will undoubtedly reap praises of a similar nature and further the reputation of this unique, stylish and poised artist. For Hiromi Kanda, this gorgeous new recording marks the point where she no longer simply pays tribute to, but emerges as one of the great vocalists.
“I need good music,” says Kanda. “Music, to me, is like pure air. Music is joy. And I feel that my musical voyage is just beginning with Days of Yesterday.”
- The Nagasaki-born singer recently moved to the United States, and will embark on a national tour in support of Days of Yesterday.