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Kimiko went to Tokyo in 1964, and became a featured member of pianist Yuzuru Sera's group. Kasai is referred to by her nickname of "Kemeco", also a song on one of her earliest recorded works, "The Modern Playing Mate" by Yuzuru Sera Trio Introducing Kimiko Kasai from 1968 (and recently reissued on compact disc in Japan).
Kimiko first album as a solo artist was entitled "Just Friends" in 1970. After that time, she recorded many albums in collaboration with some of the most renowned musicians in the jazz field, such as Billy Higgins, Mal Waldron, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Oliver Nelson, and Herbie Hancock. Kimico recorded many jazz albums, though her later albums were more a mix of jazz fusion, smooth jazz, pop, and West Coast AOR. She recorded mostly in English, though she recorded several albums in Japanese ("Umbrella", "Tokyo Special", and “Perigo A Noite”). Many of her early jazz recordings remain in print in Japan, being re-released with modern day technologies (i.e., compact disc, SACD, blu-spec disc).
In her personal life, Kimiko has been married to drummer Hiroshi Murakami, as well as to Richard Rudolph, the former husband of the late Minnie Riperton. Richard Rudolph is famous as the composer of "Loving You", as well as producing recordings by Minnie Riperton, Teena Marie and Kimiko herself.
Kimiko recorded for Columbia Records/Sony from approximately 1971-1985. She released one synth-pop album “Perigo A Noite” on Eastworld/Toshiba in 1987, and her last recording to date was a self-titled pop and R&B/new jack swing flavored release on Kitty Records/Polydor in 1990.
Kimiko lives in Los Angeles, and is a jewelry designer.
1968 The Modern Playing Mate: Yuzuru Sera Trio introducing Kimiko Kasai
1970 Just Friends
1971 One for Lady: Kimiko Kasai & Mal Waldron
1971 Yellow Carcass in the Blue
1972 Satin Doll: Kimiko Kasai with Gil Evans
1972 Umbrella: Works of Haruomi Hosono
1973 What’s New
1974 In Person (with Oliver Nelson)
1974 Kimiko Is Here: With Cedar Walton Trio
1975 This Is My Love
1976 We Can Fall in Love
1977 Tokyo Special
1978 Round and Round
1979 Butterfly: Kimiko Kasai & Herbie Hancock
1984 Love Talk
1984 New Pastel
1985 Watching You
1985 My One and Only Love
1987 Perigo a Noite
- Zade, Wayne. ""From Soul to Spirit, Spirit to Soul": Billy Higgins on Jazz and Japan". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
- "Mal Waldron Catalog". Jazzdisco.org. Retrieved 2010-05-16.