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Jin Jin/Firefly
     

Jin Jin/Firefly

by Takashi Hirayasu & Bob Brozman
 
Astute world music fans may remember the last Okinawan record to make an international splash: Shoukichi Kina's PEPPERMINT TEAHOUSE, which featured the slide guitar of Ry Cooder on a rousing number called "Jing Jing," which means "firefly." Takashi Hirayasu -- guitarist in Kina's band, Champloose -- is joined by another American

Overview

Astute world music fans may remember the last Okinawan record to make an international splash: Shoukichi Kina's PEPPERMINT TEAHOUSE, which featured the slide guitar of Ry Cooder on a rousing number called "Jing Jing," which means "firefly." Takashi Hirayasu -- guitarist in Kina's band, Champloose -- is joined by another American guitar whiz, Bob Brozman, and the pair record their own version entitled "Jin Jin," but that's where the similarities end. Intimate and acoustic where Champloose was over the top with a drum corps and whooping female vocalists, Hirayasu's album is far more friendly to the Western ear. Plucking along on his sanshin -- kind of a banjo in form-fitting snakeskin -- Hirayasu underscores the rustic, almost Appalachian twang of Okinawan music. Ever the sympathetic collaborator, Brozman deploys his vast knowledge of blues, Hawaiian music, and even Tin Pan Alley melody to complement the lazy, oceanfront swoon of these mostly traditional numbers. Of course, U. S. military occupation of these southernmost islands left an indelible mark on Okinawan music, and often the line between Brozman's embellishments and Hirayasu's roots is pleasantly fuzzy. Which, at the dawn of a new global century, is really how it oughtta be, right?

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Recorded on the Okinawan island of Taketomi, Jin Jin/Firefly documents a rare encounter between Okinawan singer/sanshin player Takashi Hirayasu and acoustic guitarist Bob Brozman. Forming a duo, the two prove to be highly compatible -- and when you think about it, they're a logical combination. Hirayasu's foundation is Okinawan music, which contains both Japanese and Polynesian elements; Brozman, meanwhile, is considered a master of the Hawaiian guitar and is no stranger to the sounds of the Pacific Islands. So it isn't hard for them to find common ground on "Akata Sun Dunchi," "Chinnuku Jushi," and other traditional Okinawan children's songs that Hirayasu selected. What the duo does with the songs isn't entirely traditional, however. Brozman brings plenty of blues, rock, and Hawaiian influence to the session, and that works for Hirayasu because the Okinawa native is hip to blues and rock himself. Hirayasu and Brozman both have a lot of charisma, and that proves to be mutually beneficial on this excellent CD.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/04/2000
Label:
Riverboat
UPC:
0605633002027
catalogNumber:
330020

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