Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A wonderful little record from pianist Joanne Brackeen – unlike anything the artist ever recorded, as it's just a set of duets with guitarist Ryo Kawasaki, who brings in some really beautiful elements to the mix! Ryo plays an acoustic nylon string guitar, but with a dexterity that most other players would use on electric – and the balance of his instrument with Brackeen's piano is sublime – full of colors and imaginative tones, but also a fair degree of rhythmic impulses too – which guide the duo in ways that are completely refreshing throughout!
One of the dangers anytime an artist decides to forgo the organic approach and back his primary instrument with electronic effects is relying too much on the machinery. Fortunately, Ryo Kawasaki, as strong a producer as he is a lyrical electric guitar master, makes sure his silky urban rhythms on Sweet Life are simply an enhancement, rather than a burden, to his fluid lines. Whether the track is straight-out funk, smooth late-night seduction, or a loping ride like the title cut, his hypnotic synth lines simply set the mood. Kawasaki's plucky, winding way with a melody is textured over that, working its way toward varying degrees of emotional resonance. While the fully plugged-in mode carries the majority of the collection, Kawasaki earns his most memorable kudos for the simple and sparse acoustic gems, a lush cover of Janet Jackson's "Again" and on "Sweet Life," which improvises a flamenco-like edge over fingersnap percussion that sounds more real than machine-generated.