She believes that music has a power to bring people together and change their lives. "We are connected by music," Matsui wrote, "as the Ocean connects the continents". A lover of nature, Matsui often makes reference to plants, animals, the elements, and other natural features and phenomena in her song titles. She shows an especial fascination with the moon as a number of her compositions refer to the moon in their titles. Matsui's music shows signs of evolving over the years. Her American debut album A Drop of Water showed a promise of east meets west with a jazz fusion flavor.
However, her recordings for MCA Records in the early 1990s lacked this appeal and, for many, sounded indistinguishable from the rest of what is now known as smooth jazz. Starting with Cherry Blossom, though, her music increased in popularity as she differentiated herself from the rest of contemporary jazz. By the time Sapphire was released in 1995, her music flirted with everything from funk music to latin and world music. Whisper From the Mirror from 2000 showed Matsui leaving the smooth jazz style and moving towards new age with a soundscape sound. A number of her fans had a problem adapting to her new style of music (though she continued to play smooth jazz at her concerts).
But many welcomed the change. Over time her post-2000 albums show a more worldbeat flavor to them. Her 2005 release Walls of Akendora, however, is a throwback to her pre-2000, smooth jazz days. Read more on Last.fm.
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