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Little Tokyo *
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Performer Notes
  • Hiroshima (Jazz Group): Dean Cortez (bass instrument); Danny Yamamoto (drum); Shoji Kameda (percussion); Dan Kuramoto, June Kuramoto, Kimo Cornwell.
  • Personnel: Kenny Endo (vocals, taiko, percussion); Leslie Chew (guitar); June Kuramoto (koto); Dan Kuramoto (flute, alto flute, shakuhachi, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion); Kimo Cornwell (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, synthesizer); James K. Lloyd (keyboards, synthesizer); Dean Taba (acoustic bass); Danny Yamamoto (drums); Richie Gajate Garcia (congas, conga drum, timbales, percussion).
  • Additional personnel: Karen Hwa-Chee Han (erhu); James Lloyd (keyboards); Mary Garcia (unknown instrument); Kenny Endo, Leslie Chew, Dean Taba, Richie Gajate Garcia.
  • Audio Mixers: Leslie Chew; Martin Walters.
  • Recording information: Studio Tofuville.
  • Unknown Contributor Role: Mary M. Garcia.
  • Little Tokyo is Hiroshima's brilliant musical reference to the importance of maintaining a positive, multicultural world view in the midst of international and intercultural tensions. The group has often used this type of subject matter and symbolism in their songs to convey the feelings and moods which have been inspired by current events, places, and people. The 11 songs span several musical styles including sensibilities inherent in Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Asian music. "Midnight Sun" spotlights the work of Shoji Kameda and Kenny Endo. The taiko drum masters complement each other as they underscore June Kuramoto's lovely koto work and Dan Kuramoto's exotic saxophone lines that exude a mysteriously melodic feeling. Guest keyboardist and labelmate James K. Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream sits in on the catchy tune titled "Lanai." The song includes plenty of spirited accompaniment and passionate lyricism from the Kuramotos. The syncopated closer, "Little Tokyo Underground," is Hiroshima's tip of the hat to the funk-jazz crowd. The funky grooves coupled with the adventurous shades of contemporary jazz adds yet another dimension to this artistic array of musical compositions. ~ Paula Edelstein
Professional Reviews
JazzTimes (p.116) - "[C]hallenging and engaging....The new CD makes a compelling, positive statement with its fusion of jazz, pop, rock and Far East elements."
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