Tomoko Omura is among today's leading voices in jazz violin. “Roots”, her debut album for Inner Circle, is a compelling tribute to her native Japan, featuring original arrangements of ten classic Japanese folk and popular songs. In the words of fellow violinist Christian Howes, “'Roots' is a tremendous accomplishment, and undoubtedly one of the most important and creative jazz albums produced by a violinist in recent history.”
Strongly informed by the jazz violin tradition, her 2008 self-released debut album, “Visions”, is a collection of seven dynamic original pieces, each of which is dedicated to one of the greats of the instrument, from Stuff Smith to Zbigniew Seifert. Violinst Matt Glaser praises “Visions” as such: “Her playing here is uniformly amazing, with great ideas, great tone, perfect intonation and great feel...”. “Mark's Passion”, dedicated to Mark Feldman, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition. The release of “Visions” also prompted Strings Magazine to name Omura a “Rising Star” in 2009.
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The Strad Magazine Feb, 2009
Tomoko Omura's Visions is a fine example of jazz violin for those who want to explore beyond the Grappelli genre. Omura is a strong improviser:snappy phrasing, harmonic scope and a willingness to open out run through the music, whether it is post-bop or fusion-tinged. At the same time, the sound is unforced, understated but not limp, clean but not prissy. Bassist Dan Carpel is no less laid-back, while the drums provide drive in the more up-tempo numbers. The overall effect is a fresh group sound that mixes a contemporary feel and established jazz idioms with considerable success
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