Central Line

Release Date: 01.20.17
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Pianist Art Hirahara makes bold and personal statements while taking us along for the ride on a journey of self-exploration with his third release for Posi-Tone.

“Central Line” is the sincere demonstration of a forward-minded artist seeking to discover the inner continuity of his life, and to pay respect and homage to the music of his family, ancestors and homeland. Hirahara utilizes his visionary talents as a bandleader and musician to uncover the hidden possibilities latent in the compositions. He also makes a bold and original statement while ultimately remaining true to himself.

With an amazing combination of talents and hard swinging highlights by bassist Linda Oh, drummer Rudy Royston and special guest Donny McCaslin on a few selections, and an evocative program of music, Hirahara’s “Central Line“ is elegantly lyrical and clearly suggestive of a modern jazz sensibility that is sure to bring bright moments of intense delight to jazz fans everywhere.


Released by: Posi-Tone Records




Song list

1. Central Line
2. Kuroda Bushi
3. Astray
4. Drawing With Light
5. Introspect
6. Little Giant
7. The Giant Catfish
8. Sensitive Animal
9. Tracing The Line
10. Entanglement
11. As Minhas Meninas
12. Redwood Thaw
13. Kinka Gold Coin
14. Yuyake Koyake


EPK Video


Album Review

"The inspirations behind the fourteen compositions on this supple acoustic jazz album vary from reflections on the leader’s Japanese heritage to the influence of Billy Strayhorn and John Coltrane.

The unifying factor is the leader’s fluent technique and command of the subtle inflections of contemporary acoustic piano jazz.

With Linda Oh’s bass a firm foundation for drummer Rudy Royston interactive spring and bounce, the core trio are inspired on both introspective balladry and ferocious swing.

Ex-Bowie saxophonist Donny McCaslin adds oomph and delicacy on four tracks."

Mike Hobart, Financial Times

"High times are all well and good, but simply nothing compares to hearing Hirahara contemplate through the keys. His musings bring you into his world, a place where contrasts and commonalities are both embraced and drawn out"
Dan Bilawsky, All About jazz

"He eschews a virtuoso piano showcase in lieu of staying melodically and rhythmically attuned to the storyline of the compositions. The title, a translation of the Chuo-Sen (“Central Line”) express railway in Tokyo, takes on a double meaning in the project."
Dan Ouellette, Downbeat Magazine