Obon

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
Although the L.A.-based East-meets-West ensemble Hiroshima has achieved incredible success over the years -- including Emmy and Grammy nominations and over three million units sold -- it's one of the few bands that has always dared to defy easy commercial categorization. Aside from incorporating native Japanese elements like the koto played masterfully by June Kuramoto and booming taiko drum into the mix, Hiroshima has always embraced a subtle spiritual side. On the masterful, multi-faceted Obon, a release celebrating 25 years since its 1979 self-titled debut, these elements are more prominent than ever. Originating in Buddhist legend, the concept of Obon is a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
Although the L.A.-based East-meets-West ensemble Hiroshima has achieved incredible success over the years -- including Emmy and Grammy nominations and over three million units sold -- it's one of the few bands that has always dared to defy easy commercial categorization. Aside from incorporating native Japanese elements like the koto played masterfully by June Kuramoto and booming taiko drum into the mix, Hiroshima has always embraced a subtle spiritual side. On the masterful, multi-faceted Obon, a release celebrating 25 years since its 1979 self-titled debut, these elements are more prominent than ever. Originating in Buddhist legend, the concept of Obon is a celebration of past and present, honoring ancestors and family and giving thanks for past blessings while looking boldly forward. The collection is a tribute to the musicians, places, and events that have inspired the band -- which, for the first time in its career, is working without a vocalist. Among these is Eddie Harris, a chief influence on band founder, saxman, and producer Dan Kuramoto -- who pays somewhat tonge-in-cheek homage to the legendary jazzman on the hypnotic opening number, "Swiss Ming," by merging his horn with a pitch shifter that lowers the register of the notes. Keyboardist Kimo Cornwell gets a chops workout on this track and other ultra-jazzy gems like "The Lighthouse," a tribute to a legendary Los Angeles area jazz club. "Atomic Café," which blends R&B, jazz, koto, and cool DJ scratches, was a place for "the best noodles in town" in L.A.'s Japantown. "Pharoah" acknowledges the legendary Mr. Sanders and other jazz legends who shaped Kuramoto's visions early on. Fans seeking purer Asian delights can turn to "Kototsu-han San Kyoku," a dreamy number that blends the koto with the vocal-like wail of the Chinese er-hu. Band newcomer Shoji Kameda is aces on the taiko, adding an ominous percussive energy to "Obon Two-Five," a richly textured track that captures all the best elements that have made Hiroshima so fascinating for so many years.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/26/2005
  • Label: Heads Up
  • UPC: 053361309824
  • Catalog Number: 3098
  • Sales rank: 136,118

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Swiss Ming (4:56)
  2. 2 China Latina (4:23)
  3. 3 Kototsu-Han (San Kyoku) (5:16)
  4. 4 Atomic Cafe (5:02)
  5. 5 Obon Two-Five (5:07)
  6. 6 One Thursday Morning (5:28)
  7. 7 Mr. Robben (5:13)
  8. 8 Paris (Ici Avec Moi) (4:34)
  9. 9 Pharoah (5:04)
  10. 10 The Lighthouse (5:33)
  11. 11 Heritage (4:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Hiroshima Primary Artist
Kimo Cornwell Piano, Keyboards
Richie Gajate Garcia Percussion
Allen Hinds Guitar
Munyungo Jackson Percussion
Dan Kuramoto Flute, Shakuhachi, Keyboards, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
June Kuramoto Koto
Danny Yamamoto Drums
DJ T-Rock scratching
Shoji Kameda Percussion, taiko
Technical Credits
Kimo Cornwell Composer
Dean Cortez Composer
Dan Kuramoto Composer, Audio Production
June Kuramoto Composer
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