So cool, it's smokin' hot. Hiro Honshuku (with the A-No-Ne Christmas) has once again brewed stunningly stylish jazz vibes in Not That Silent Night. I reviewed another Honshuku holiday release earlier this season (check it out here), and it also epitomized "cool."
"Let's go!" is one of the many possible translations of Racha Fora (pronounced "hasha fora"), but the one most apropos to this ensemble might be "branch line"—in this case running from Brazil to Japan, a link older and deeper than you might imagine. Racha Fora's sound is, appropriately, at once delicate and propulsive, acoustic and electronic, and fleet of finger and mind.
July 27, 2009
21 years with one of the most amazing jazz composers, I am revisiting the things he taught me one by one. -Hiro
“Hiro Honshuku is a man of many parts — virtuoso flutist, imaginative composer, capable visual artist and gifted teacher. A composer is always heartened to learn he has been an influence in a musician's life; Hiro has taken what he learned from the Lydian Concept and used it as I had intended it to be used — to fashion his own unique voice. Drawing from his experience of growing up in Japan, studying European traditional music, and coming to the jazz idiom as a young man, his music is pan-cultural and compelling.
This CD marks the debut of Hiro Honshuku's Trio La Luna. The three Boston based musicians—Honshuku on flute and EWI, Casper Gyldensøe on guitar, and Alex Raymond Busby Smith on bass, sound as if they've been playing together for a considerably longer time than the nine months of their association. This CD was recorded live in the studio; the intuitive interplay among these three superb musicians is remarkable. An overarching ensemble feeling is evident throughout the music, even though the group had never before performed some of the tunes.
The news may have been giving the impression Japan is recovering, but the crisis is far from over. Adding to the Nuke crisis, things are getting worse by the hour. People in the upper half of Japan continue to suffer. There is a lack of food and energy resources such as electricity and fuel.
A massive force of volunteers are running to secure the resources but the fund is limited.
Please go to Japanese Red Cross to make a donation using PayPal. It will help the volunteer workers a great deal. (Later I found American Red Cross takes transfer fee from the donation before reaching to Japan).
To help fundraising during during our performance, I did a quick and dirty arrangement of a famous Japanese Folksong, さくらさくら (Sakura, Sakura - Cherry Blossom). Performed live by Rika Ikeda : 池田里花 on violin, Mauricio Andrade on guitar, Rafael Russi on bass, and yours truly on flute.
Here is a newly composed Jazz Orchestra version of さくらさくら (Sakura, Sakura), performed by Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra.