Miho Wada: Postcards to Your Bed (mihowada.com)

 |   |  1 min read

Miho Wada: Call Girl
Miho Wada: Postcards to Your Bed (mihowada.com)

Although the cover says "Miho Wada plays Japanese punk jazz" you'd be hard pushed to locate much of whatever that is here: it sure doesn't sound like Guitar Wolf going all Ornette Coleman your arse.

It opens with a rather lame and light reggae groove over which Wada -- who was born in Japan, schooled in Christchurch and Canterbury Uni then went Trinity College in London -- offers a thin flute melody.

As vocalist she is weak and wobbly and will doubtless be embraced by those who (briefly) thought Wing was interesting. But Wada is a little more sexy: "you can play with whatever, let's get lost in pleasure".

And later on Piss Off (Such a Loser) with its ska beat is bound to get her some cult following, although the band carries it for the most part. 

Her bio says she was discovered by Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scotts' and played with him for some gigs, then she went to Cuba and studied under Buena Vista musicians, was on that Orcon ad with Iggy doing Passenger . . . and much more. Seun Kuti "mentored" her on saxophone at WOMAD apparently.

Some big claims, but hardly backed up by what is on this disc.

The most interesting things here in fact aren't the kitschy and faux-Japanese "punk jazz", but the slightly Zen/ethereal flute piece The Traveller, Furusato where guitarist John McNab spins out some interesting lines, and Song for Okinawa which has a pleasant slightly Japanese folk feel.

Call Girl's vocal are unlistenable and Wada should be cautious about the motives of those who acclaim her. I'm not sure if they would be laughing with/at her, and whether she is laughing with/at us.

So this isn't anything like what you might think from her product description but is mostly polite, unaffecting flute jazz for a hotel lobby with a few tangential "rock" pieces thrown in. 

On the basis of this calling-card album, Wada is a mildly interesting diversion but this is very much a caveat emptor situation.

And I'd really caveat that emptor, as it were.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various; Contemporary New Zealand Poets In Performance (AUP) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Various; Contemporary New Zealand Poets In Performance (AUP) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

This second volume of an excellent series (with CDs) of New Zealand poets reading their own work came from Auckland University Press and was edited by Jack Ross and Jan Kemp. It followed the... > Read more

Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

The previous album by this Atlanta-based singer-songwriter, Lantana of last year, was a revelation: her crystalline vocals conjured up the purity of Joan Baez but her sometimes dark subject matter... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Split Enz: Mental Notes (1975)

Split Enz: Mental Notes (1975)

In 2000, when Rip It Up magazine (now in the responsible hands of Simon Grigg of audioculture.co.nz) collated votes to determine the top 100 New Zealand albums in the most recent-whenever, it was... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON looks back at punk as a new way forward

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON looks back at punk as a new way forward

“Texts are worldly,” the literary theorist Edward Said wrote in '83, “[they are] a part of the social world, human life, and of course the historical moments in which they are... > Read more