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Kiku Collins: Press/Reviews

Kiku is a really smooth player..nice sound and beautiful songs.. I love this cd... She is also playing with Michael Bolton and Beyonce among others, and she does an outragous job there to.. Nice.
Jon Petter Lindberg (Dec 5, 2007)
You have a beautiful voice. Love the phrasing and texture and the muted trumpet... It's kind of kinky though because it sort of makes me horny but it also makes me want to lay my head on your lap and call you mommy.
... total package. Beautiful, intelligent, sexy, confident, funny, AND talented. Wow. I am definitely even more of a fan after last night's show...

...No one comes close to your sassy style...
...Let me finish by saying, in all seriousness, that this will likely be the best played music you've heard in a while. Not many of the reviews in Aldo's web site emphasize this enough, and even fewer pay due homage to the great Richard Ginocchio and the gorgeous and talented Kiku Collins.
"...Ms. Collins approach was both inventive and analytical, involving a catalog of textures — variously creaking, chortling or chuffing"... "... Ms. Collins simply wowed the audience with selections from her latest release, "Here With Me." Ms. Collins' sound has never been captured better as she played with a brilliant fire, a wonderful clarity and incredible definitely taste. Her funky mid-range statement of the melody in the middle of the "Mr Barista" chart blew the audience away! "The Messenger" and "Confidential" also both gave Ms. Collins a chance to shine playing the melody and knocking it totally out of the park. "
- BOM (Jun 22, 2007)
Michael Musto
...Princess of Smooth Jazz... (unfortunately the text is in Italian!)
I was first introduced to the music of Kiku Collins during March 2007 and immediately became a fan. Kiku possesses an unrivaled sense of melody and harmony, as well as an effortless style and grace, that permeate her debut album Here With Me. Throughout, Kiku’s song writing and phrasing captivates and inspires the listener, offering an emotional journey that transcends any genre. The voyage includes infectious up-tempo tunes like Mr. Barista and Blues Again, as well as more reflective ballads like You Too and Here With Me. Regardless of the style, Kiku’s passion and flair are relentless. Here With Me is one of those rare finds that entices you to always play the album in its entirety! To add to the experience, a strong supporting cast provides energetic rhythms, diverse textures, and tasty solos. Most importantly, Kiku’s vibrant personality is evident in her music, as it radiates from every sustained note and every thought-provoking chord progression. Teetering on the brink of playful and personal, Kiku’s soulful tone draws the listener in like a warm embrace. I have been taken captive by the music of the Ninja Princess.
Dan Voytek (May 2, 2007)
...featuring trumpeter Kiku Collins... "Proved to be a special experience"

...sassy trumpet...
...and then I see her - the sexy trumpet player seems so familiar - and of course - how many sexy Asian trumpet players can there be in NYC - it's Kiku... dynamite...

...not only is their music great – so is sweetheart Kiku – the trumpet player...
-Kiku's music feels almost beyond form, transparent, with a sense of stillness and exquisiteness. In my opinion, your music manifests the essence of formless, a full expression of one's life, of your life. Your musicality and creativeness goes beyond words-
- Rafael Picorelli (Feb 11, 2007)
Do like Lauryn Hill! Do like Phil Collins! Ninja Princess, the ACT.

I'd be there,

A fan.
Anonymous Fan (Jan 20, 2007)
I have been waiting for this CD for a long time... here on this CD Kiku is in control, co-writing the tunes and playing her sexy Flugelhorn. No notes in the stratosphere here (a refreshing change from artists who seem to equate range with talent), this is tuneful tasty stuff! And it's even more rich because of the muted trumpet and valve trombone harmonies she adds to the mix. This is the perfect CD for a sunset, a relaxing evening, a mountain drive, anytime you need to de-stress. My favorites are Confidential Obituary, Blues Again, and Here with Me but it's all great stuff.
Chris McDaniel - (Apr 9, 2007)
...Hey Ray, you've gotta see the trumpet player...
Guitar player with Ray Charles's hottest horn player...
Nelson Lugo, Award Winning Master Magician
As one who cares for and appreciates the beauty, soul and feeling of the flugelhorn, I can say that Kiku Collins puts more into one note than do a thousand pretenders to her throne. She is the Queen...royalty...

To feel the beauty of her music, to live in the moods she creates on this album, is to be alive.

I just returned from Mexico, and as the waves crashed in the background, her music washed over me like a pure wave of joy. I was at peace...I felt love, I wanted to play along...

Thank you Kiku, for the beauty that is you, inside and out.

I cannot wait until the day our music blends and fills the room with warmth, with love and with passion. Until then, I'll hit the replay button...and imagine.
- Jeff Oster (Apr 20, 2007)
“Here with me” is the perfect title for Kiku Collins’ debut record. She’s inviting you, the listener, to join her. With the title track she puts you at ease and lets you know you’re important but you must participate. She almost ends the song with a question or maybe a challenge. You will NOT be sorry if you continue on with her. “Mr. Barista”, hits you exactly where it should and lets you know why God created hips! I know it’s been referred to as “smooth jazz” but there’s a definite pop sensibility in the best way. She wants you to move, lets you catch you breath (Levitation), and lets you feel powerful (Confidential). The array of instruments she performs on gives you colors, sounds & textures unlike other Brass based records. My favorites include those mentioned, as well as, “Blues Again”, “You too”, and “Cartoons of the Prophet”. I’m excited to see where she takes us next! I plan to be there!
Bob D'Haene (Jul 21, 2007) can find true knowledge by listening to Kiku's CD, "here with me". I personally felt as though I was walking down a pleasant country lane with a soft breeze cleansing my Spirit. The soft breeze was the skillfull air, used to vibrate eternal sounds that entered my soul, or rather became one with the spiritual essence.

Fellow passengers in this life, please do give it a listen.Concentate, meditate, and elevate your Consciousness.
Andrew McCann (Feb 27, 2007)
Kiku Collins "Here With Me," is almost a force of quiet, but determined, Nature. I met Kiku in New York City just before I escaped to Austin, Texas when she was gigging with the New York City Blues Devils. At the time, I thought they were slumming from New Orleans and parts South. They were that convincing and the horn solos, mostly expertly played by Kiku, were that authentic. Her talent seems second to none, having learned it at a very early age, enrolling at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, after doing a 2 summer stint at their National Music Camp. From there, she went on to study classical performance at Manhattan School of Music. She's very easy on the eyes. Most recently, she's been Beyonce Knowles' trumpet player since June 2006. When I say she's that good, I mean she's THAT good.

The overall mood of the album is almost cinematic, and as you listen to it from beginning to end, you'll see the most amazing scenes playing in your head. This is a film score that needs a film. I’ll freely admit that I am not as much of a Jazzhead as I would like to be, but certainly not as much as you are. My forte is Indie and many things Pop, so it would be unfair to comment upon each of these amazing tracks with the opinion of an expert. However, I know good, pristinely produced music when I hear it, and I know what I like. Here With Me doesn’t suffer from the same self-produced unmastered genericism that some music that is sent in to my radio network does. Furthermore, there are only two covers included here. The remaining eight tracks were written by Kiku herself and they sound like instant classics. The album is an understated Wall Of Sound that deserves to be heard outside of the Jazz World.
Dame mit Flügelhorn:
Kiku Collins ist eine Virtuosin am Flügelhorn und wird hier unterstützt von einem recht großen Ensemble. Die Arrangements sind teils konventionell, teils erfrischend andersartig, alle jedoch sehr präzise und exakt, jeder Ton sitzt. Mir gefallen besonders "Levitation", "Sakura", "Cartoons of the Prophet". Sehr schön!

Lady With Flugelhorn:

Kiku Collins is a virtuosa on Flugelhorn and is backed here by a sensational ensemble. The arrangements vary from conventional to refreshingly unusual; they are precise and exact throughout, and every note fits perfectly. My favorite tracks are "Levitation," "Sakura" and "Cartoons of the Prophet". Excellent!
(translated by R. Johnson) - Karl, from Hamburg (Apr 1, 2007)
A perfect mellow day. Smart. Sexy. Very well done.
Sanjuro (Mar 30, 2007)
Kiku is great to perform with and a wonderful person as well. She's full of energy and alot of fun on the job. the complete performer!
Ryan Resky - (Jun 25, 2007)
There is no mistake about it, Kiku Collins' new album "Here With Me" is incredibly exciting and very well-done. Great jazz!

I have perused my personal collection of some of the best players in this genre of great trumpet players from Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis, all the way down to Arturo Sandoval and Derek Watson, and this album is one of the best SOUNDING in my collection. The "Dynamic Duo" of Kiku Collins and Julian Harris have put together some very tasteful arrangements that is sure to make this album one of the hottest jazz releases of 2007.

The two ballads on this album that are especially impressive are the title song, "Here With Me" and "The Messenger". Collins' sound has never been captured better and she plays with a brilliant fire, a wonderful clarity AND definitely taste. Her funky mid-range statement of the melody in the middle of the "Blues Again" chart blew me away! "Cartoons of the Prophet" and "Confidential" also both give Collins a chance to shine playing the MELODY and knocking it totally out of the park.

What else to say? Yes, "Here With Me" has a great sound, a first rate band and some of the best and cleanest Kiku Collins playing I've heard. The sound on this CD is especially wonderful.
I didn't even get all the way through "here with me" and I was in tears. It is a powerful and beautiful cd. I felt like I was on a wave of emotion..I knew I was going to love it.. I wasn't prepared to be swept away!..anyone who owns this CD has a gem to be treasured.. Kiku is a gift to the world!!!
Caroline Johnson (Feb 21, 2007)
...Mr. Barista is so fun to Cha Cha to in the privacy of your own room... has an aural hint of Austin Powers... Confidential Obituary. I actually kicked back and closed my eyes, listening to that song and I could almost see the sound waves of each instrument overlapping... The Messenger reminds me of The Fabulous Baker Boys... Levitation has a sexy feel about it. That's the light up all the candles and get the massage oil out and find a partner in crime to snuggle and play with... Acid Cowboy should be retitled Reflection cuz you ride the notes like a magic carpet while thinking of your past and all you have accomplished or wish to... You Too is one of those songs that finds you standing at a classy upscale bar with your giant wine
glass that you're slowly swirling and your eyes are closed as your head is gently swaying to the melody. Blues Again I would love to hear cranked up on my Ipod while riding on the back of a Harley cruising up PCH on a clear beautiful day taking in the sites. And last but not least...Sakura... The music almost interprets you emotions...
Donna Tegan (Feb 11, 2007)
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