Art's first CD in 2000 is described as follows:
"Hirahara fronts a hard-driving post bop sextet on Edge of This Earth. The pianist romps through nine of his compositions and one standard while his front line of trumpeter MacKinnon and saxophonists Alkire and Kenmotsu put fuel into the tank with their power playing. Hirahara's tunes are excellent vehicles for his band. They allow the horn players to be featured prominently while he and the rhythm team provide the steaming surge for the music. The pace is not always high speed, but the sense of urgency is present even on the slower songs. Hirahara is very forceful on piano, percussively beating out notes from the keyboard to set the tone for the band. He develops his solos using a plethora of notes, and his improvisations transmit substantial energy that becomes motivation for the band to reciprocate in kind.
The union of three horns produces potent music. MacKinnon switches between muted and open playing, both of which merge well with the ensemble push. He, Alkire, and Kenmotsu mix it up very effectively when making joint statements, and they alternate the solo duties before turning the reins over to Hirahara for his feature on each tune. All three are fine improvisers who become expressively open when spinning out their variations off the original themes of Hirahara. Rubin and Lewis are steady partners on the rhythm team and unceremoniously go about the business of keeping the pressure at high level. Hirahara has taken a format that has been exhaustively explored in Jazz, yet he manages to breathe fresh life into it with his enthusiastic playing and formidable compositions. It is a solid outing." - Frank Rubolino, Cadence, vol. 27, no. 9
"Art Hirahara has had a strong background in the Asian-American jazz scene, and he puts his considerable chops to use both compositionally and as a piano player on his first self produced CD. Except for the venerable "All the Things You Are", all the tunes are written by the pianist, and well performed by his sextet. Digging into a straight-ahead date, Hirahara shows his sensitive side in the wonderfully-played "And She Hoped" and "Should Sun Follow Rain." Hirahara gives plenty of room for his players to interact with the feel of the tunes and with each other, giving the ensemble more than just a "made in the studio" sound. And with players like Chuck MacKinnon on trumpet and Jason Lewis at the drum kit, the results are first rate." - Michael Handler, jazzwest.com
Art Hirahara's CD, "Edge of This Earth" was released at
a special SF/East Bay celebration concert in February 2001 at Yoshi's.
Also, visit the recordings page to see other projects that Art can be heard on.