Hiromi Kanda Breathes New Life Into the Great American Songbook

When Hiromi Kanda released her debut album, Hiromi in Love (Music Gate/Warner), earlier this year, critics raved about the Japanese vocalist who brought a renewed elegance to such familiar Great American Songbook standards as “That Old Feeling,” “My Funny Valentine” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Rick Foster of The Sun Chronicle called Hiromi “a poised and highly professional songstress,” while John Berger of The Honolulu Star Bulletin remarked, “This romantic nostalgic album by Japanese vocalist Hiromi Kanda has a timeless beauty.” Jazz Times’ Christopher Loudon piled on more praise: “Blessed with a solid voice…and an impressive sense of time, Hiromi Kanda sings in a style that suggests the smokiness of Marlene Dietrich crossed with the lilt of Astrud Gilberto,” he wrote.
Hiromi is not one to rest on her laurels, and the Nagasaki-born artist—who augments her lushly orchestrated vocal interpretations with striking visual element—is taking her artistry to the next level. For the followup, expected in early 2011, Hiromi has teamed up with the legendary, multiple Grammy-winning producer Al Schmitt, whose long list of achievements includes classic albums by Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall, Ray Charles and many others.
Among the musicians who contributed to the as-yet-untitled album is the legendary keyboardist Joe Sample, whose work with the Crusaders and as a solo artist has earned him kudos for more than half a century. 
In the meantime, Hiromi Kanda continues to perfect her craft, refining her dazzling presentation of the music she has loved since she first became exposed to it in her homeland.