Reviewing Hiromi Kanda’s sophomore album, Days of Yesterday, the esteemed website All About Jazz called the Japanese-born performer an “exceptional vocalist” and noted that she “delivers a lyric with remarkable intimacy.” Prior to that, JazzTimes magazine raved about Kanda’s debut, Hiromi in Love, stating that she possessed a “solid voice” and comparing her to such giants as Linda Ronstadt, Marlene Dietrich and Astrud Gilberto. The Honolulu Star Bulletin, meanwhile, praised Hiromi’s “timeless beauty.”
Since her emergence in the American market a decade ago, Hiromi Kanda has wowed audiences here with her innate ability to embody and reinvigorate the music of the bygone era that gave us the Great American Songbook. Now, with the impending release of Seven Elegant Ballads (due via MusicGate, on Feb. 1, 2020), Hiromi’s third collection of standards and original compositions, the plaudits will unquestionably continue. The title is self-explanatory, but nothing can prepare a listener for the all-encompassing richness of Hiromi’s dynamic interpretations of these durable nuggets and her equally evocative originals, composed in tandem with her producer/husband, Yusuke Hoguchi.
Like Hiromi in Love and Days of Yesterday, Seven Elegant Ballads pays tribute to the timeless 20th century American classics that Hiromi came to love while growing up in Japan. Although physically she was thousands of miles from the source of her inspiration when she first heard those songs, “I have enjoyed that sound and style all my life,” she says. “I love the standards and the old movie musicals. I feel that the music of this period and genre in America—the classics written by Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Gus Kahn—as well as the wonderful arrangements of Nelson Riddle and Billy May, may be the most musical and romantic ever written. The feelings of romance and the stories about relationships are universal and will always touch people’s hearts. Also, the big band sound makes it so big!”