Star in Green
Star in Green takes flight through simplicity. The guitar and voice unit has a fresh, simple sound that projects the essence of the tunes on the self-titled debut album, Star in Green. The first track is the lively "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder with a tricky, circular rhythmic feel. The second track is the pensive "Crescent," an original by Azuma, that evokes moments waiting under a night sky. "Star in Green/Midori No Hoshi" is the album's title track and has a dreamy, ethereal atmosphere created by dubbed guitar layers. The often-played standard "L-O-V-E" is the sole swing tune and is light and moving with a unison line of twisting harmony, while "Sky Blue" is a haunting meditation that unfolds in layers and features Azuma's refined vocal quality. The album concludes with a composition by International Songwriting Competition winner Hitomi Nishiyama, with lyrics penned by Azuma. The whole listening experience, though the production is sparse, is like a much-needed pause for breath amid a busy, ever-changing world.