Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hideo Shiraki Quintet + 3 Koto Girls – Sakura Sakura (1965)

Here’s a really cool little Japanese jazz record that I found on Soulseek a while ago. The band is led by drummer Hideo Shiraki and features three girls playing the koto, which makes for an interesting combination of sounds. The kotos tend weave in and out of the mix, figuring prominently on only a couple of tracks (notably “Sakura Sakura”).
Most of these tracks are done in a sort of airy hard bop style, though there are also some definite modal Miles Davis-ish influences (parts of the last track “Suwa” sounds eerily similar to “So What” off of Kind of Blue).
Anyway, it’s a pretty good album. Great drums, really spirited trumpet playing, and an interesting melding of musical traditions. Recommended.