someone would ask me, what kind of music do Hiroshima perform,
I would certainly have difficulty to categorize their music. Japanese
jazz, Japanese fusion, world music, smooth jazz? Let's create the
term world fusion, because Hiroshima
has not only borrowed from numerous cultures but merged the styles to
a multi-ethnical identity.
new album Little Tokyo is a consistent continuation and
progress of their unique style. “We’re always looking at things
from a multicultural perspective,” says Kuramoto. “We live in
southern California, where the ethnic population is in the majority.
We see this as the coolest thing about America. Its strength and its
vision comes from its multi-ethnicity. Those differences are going to
give us the strength to be more unified. The more we homogenize, the
more we give up that notion of cultural diversity, and the less
we’ll understand each other.”
opens the album with a classical Japanese motif celebrated on the
Koto, a kind of zither with 13 strings, being arched tautly across 13
movable bridges along the length of the instrument. The dynamic is transferred
into the track by the two taiko drum masters Shoji Kameda
and Kenny Endo. The taiko beat lets vibrate your loudspeakers, your
body, your mind.
On The Fence
is featuring Dan Kuramoto on tenor sax leading the main theme and Kimo
Cornwell on Rhodes adding the bridge solo. This arrangement is
garnished by June Kuramoto's koto with complex patterns.
labelmate James Lloyd (POAD) joins the band delivering rich textures
on keyboards and synthesizers. Kimo Cornwell gently tickles the ivory
and Rice streams with a funky attitude pushed by a syncopated
The song Sir
Charles is dedicated to Vince Charles.
best known for his work in Neil Diamond's Band. As a member of the
band for over 18 years, Vince brings his unique steel drum flavor to
Neil's music. This multicultural tune with instrumental elements of
Asia and Latin rhythms is heated by guest percussionist Richie Gajate
of percussion will also appreciate Hidden Times. Percussion,
drums, taiko and some Japanese ingredients create a special Asian
of Honor is an instrumental track of mesmerizing beauty. It is superbly
suitable as an epic movie score.
Yin (Goddess of Compassion) features Karen Hwa-Chee Han on erhu. Erhu
is a kind of Chinese violin with two strings. Acoustic bassist
Dean Taba lays down a dark bass ground. Ornamental injections
are performed by June Kuramato on koto and Dan Kuramoto and Kimo
Cornwell on keys.
on a sound-loop Drama develops its own multilayered melody
epitomizing Hiroshima's multicultural influences.
is Hiro Chill? Is Hiroshima jumping on the chillout train? Not
at all. It's a solid boomer with awesome horn assets by tenor
saxophonist Dan Kuramoto.
Tokyo Underground is a surrealistic excursion in the genre of free
jazz and world music. "Everything is just so marginalized these
days and played so safe," says Kuramato. "So many musicians
are so afraid to stretch themselves. There's so little that they're
allowed to play if they want to survive commercially. But we as a band
have always believed that there's more to it than that, and we will
continue on our journey to explore those possibilities, regardless of
the next fad on the horizon." Understanding this statement the
final track is quasi Hiroshima's musical rebellion.
album Little Tokyo is a multicultural, adventurous and
enigmatic project which will certainly captivate listeners with all
its musical facets.