Perfect Blue album by Mary Koga

Mari Koga, a Japanese born New York jazz vocalist’s presents her album “Perfect Blue”.  It contains her unique arrangements of jazz standards, Afro-Latin influenced original songs. Also a pair of Salsa and Flamenco Jazz, sung in Japanese.

Mari Koga’s Official Website: http://www.marikoga.com/bio/
To purchase and support Mari Koga’s work: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marikoga

MARI KOGA
vocalist

A Japanese born New Yorker, Mari Koga, has been singing professionally since her early 20’s. Early on, she won first prize at the 10th Annual Jetstream Young Vocalist contest. She was soon very much in demand as a young Jazz singer in Japan.

Mari moved to New York City to immerse herself in the New York jazz scene and started performing regularly at many popular venues in NYC. Eventually she reached the stages of New York’s prestige jazz clubs such as the Blue Note, Jazz at Kitano, Zinc Bar, etc. She also appeared as a re-imported singer at Tokyo’s top jazz venues such as Body & Soul and DUG.

Mari has also performed in commercial films with clients such as the American Plastic Council and Marriot Hotels.

In the summer of 2010, she formed the Afro-Latin influenced jazz band “Afronaughtica”, with her long time best friend and pianist, Chiemi Nakai as co-leader. The band debuted to a packed audience at the Creole as part of its Afro-Cuban jazz series in July 2010. They’ve also played at Zinc bar, Tutuma Social Club and many other music events. They had a successful tour performing in five major cities in Japan.

Afronaughtica was nominated as the Best Next Generation Artist and Mari was nominated as the Best Latin Jazz Vocalist at the Latin Corner, the popular website of the Latin Jazz fan community.

Mari also performed as a back up singer for salsa star, Jimmy Bosch’s “La Orquesta de Jimmy Bosch” and appeared at various clubs and jazz festivals, including SOB’s and Savanna Music festival, etc.

Audiences have been delighted by her unique repertoire, which includes original songs and unusual arrangements of jazz standards with a touch of Afro-Latin, and by her throaty horn-like improvisational scatting style.

For production and album credits:
1. Invitation (5:25)
Music: Bronislaw Kaper
Words:Paul Francis Webster
Arr: Mari Koga
Tenor Sax: Alejandro Avilés
Piano: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Alex Hernandez
Drums:Franco Pinna
Congas: Sebastian Nickoll
Coros: Willie Ruíz & Mari Koga

2. Azul (5:54)
Music: Chiemi Nakai
Words: Mari Koga
Keyboard: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Alex Hernandez
Drums: Franco Pinna
Congas: Sebastian Nickoll

3. Lluvia De Lagrimas <やまない雨>(6:02)
Music & Words: Mari Koga
Arr: Chiemi Nakai & Willie Ruiz
Piano: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Maximo Rodriguez
Trumpet: Manuel Maneco Ruiz
Trombone: Alex Zapata
Bariton Sax: Carl Corwin
Clarinet: Noriko Nagao
Congas, bongo, bell, Maracas & Guiro: Willie Ruiz
Timbales: Pablo “Chino” Nuñez
Coros: Yoko Mimata, Willie Ruiz & Mari Koga

4. You & I (4:48)
Music: Chiemi Nakai
Words: Mari Koga
Key Board: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Alex Hernandez
Drums: Franco Pinna
Congas, Maracas & Guiro: Willie Ruiz

5. You Don’t Know What Love Is (5:14)
Music:Gene DePaul
Words: Don Raye
Arr: Mari Koga
Tenor Sax: Alejandro Avilés
Piano: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Pedro Giraudo
Drums: Franco Pinna

6. I Got Rhythm (4:51)
Music: George Gershwin
Words: Ira Gershwin
Arr: Mari Koga, Chiemi Nakai & Willie Ruiz
Key Board: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Ruben Rodriguez
Drums: Vince Cherico
Trumpet: Jonathan Powell
Trombone: Alex Zapata
Bariton Sax: Carl Corwin
Congas, Maracas & Guiro: Willie Ruiz

7. The Moon On The Water (6:09)
Music: Chiemi Nakai
Words: Mari Koga
Trumpet: Mike Rodriguez
Piano: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Pedro Giraudo
Drums: Franco Pinna

8. Volver <ボルベール> (5:26)
Music & Words: Chiemi Nakai
Piano: Chiemi Nakai
Bass: Pedro Giraudo
Drums: Franco Pinna
Percussions: Jerome Goldshumidt
Producer: Mari Koga
Co-Producer: Willie Ruiz
Sound Engineer: Kamilo Kratc
Assistant Engineer: Sandra Kratc

Recorded at  Soundworks Recording Studio www.soundworksrecording.com
& Grand Slam Production Studio

Photo: Marcin J. Muchaiski

Cover Design: Kazu Inoue

Make up & Hair: Masae Satouchi & Hitomi Kae

Nail: Naoko Saita

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