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Hiroshima - J-Town Beat (2013)
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Hiroshima - J-Town Beat (2013)

25-06-2016, 18:08
Jazz | Smooth Jazz | Soul | Latin

Title: J-Town Beat
Year Of Release: 2013
Label: CD Baby
Genre: Soul, World Music, Jazz, Smooth Jazz
Quality: MP3 CBR 320 kbps
Total Time: 00:49:23
Total Size: 115 MB

01. Hiroshima - Red Buddha (04:56)
02. Hiroshima - Lost in Provence (05:06)
03. Hiroshima - State of Mind (04:37)
04. Hiroshima - Da Kitchen (04:42)
05. Hiroshima - Lady of Mystery (04:25)
06. Hiroshima - Kimochi (04:50)
07. Hiroshima - Meiji Mambo (04:33)
08. Hiroshima - Days Gone By (04:59)
09. Hiroshima - Afternoon Koto (03:20)
10. Hiroshima - Cruisin' J-Town (03:14)
11. Hiroshima - To Say Goodbye (04:35)

2014 will mark the 40th anniversary of the pioneer Asian American jazz band Hiroshima. That said, while I've been listening to them for over a decade, I found their music to be a mixed bag, ranging from excellent (Obon & Little Tokyo) to just over average.

J-Town Beat, the band's latest release is a throwback of such; it sounds a lot like the jazz-fusion releases of the late 1970s (largely due to the present of the electric piano in nearly every song). Despite that, the band manage to keep their trademark sound present for the most part thought out. The 1st tune, "Red Buddha" is the most Asian sounding track on the CD. It opens up with kotoist June Kuramoto singing & playing the shamisen before the rest of the band comes in. The sounds of the taiko & flutes gives one the feeling they're at a Japanese festival. Other songs with a noticeable Asian favor include "Kimochi" (Japanese for "feeling"), "Afternoon Koto" & the closer.

Beside Japanese music, one can hear other genres in this album. For R&B there's "State of Mind" (which the band dedicated to the late George Duke), "Lady of Mystery" (Vinx De'Jon Parrette, who provides the vocal hooks sounds a lot like Will Downing), & the lone full vocal "Days Gone Bye." Not a big fan of Hiroshima's vocal songs, for me this is the weakest song here-though not a bad one in itself. For Latin music, there's the bossa nova "Lost in Provence" & the remake of "Crusin' J-Town" (which originally appeared in the band's 2nd LP in 1980.) & for jazz fusion there's "Da Kitchen" (named after an eatery in Hawaii.) & "Meiji Mambo"-which despite the title there's nothing mambo or Latin jazz about it. Rather it pays triune to the founding band members' grandparents, who migrated to the US during Japan's Meiji Era (1968-1912) as well the band's 1st visit to that country over 30 years ago.

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