Blue Note have released a video to accompany Takuya Kuroda’s fine new album Rising Son. Watch the video above and read the Marlbank review below
Blue Note **** RECOMMENDED
Not since Terumasa Hino has a Japanese trumpeter displayed such potential on the world stage. Kuroda has been a fixture in singer José James’ band for a while, and the Minneapolis man has stepped into the producer’s seat for Kuroda’s debut, adding his peerless vocals on a beautifully knowing and soulfully funky version of Roy Ayers’ great soul-jazz clubbers’ anthem ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’, Kuroda soloing tenderly at the beginning and riffing headbobbingly off the melody breaks when José sings.
It's a winning ultra-clubby stylish post-acid jazz sound built from the ground up by Trio of Oz electric bassist Solomon Dorsey in tandem with Monk prize-winning keyboardist Kris Bowers, drummer Nate Smith, who's on the fine new Nir Felder record Golden Age, and trombonist Corey King. Labelmate Lionel Loueke guests on the second track ‘Afro Blues.’
The 33-year-old Kuroda grew up in the Japanese city of Kobe now lives in Brooklyn and has been around a while since studying at Berklee and he has three albums under his own name. But Rising Son (jazz album homophone of the year so far) changes everything in terms of name recognition. Mellow, accessible, inviting, the blue notes simmer effortlessly, with Lee Morgan and Clifford Brown big influences on his sound allied to some lovely summery soulful stylings on top of great swung beats and glorious dance-laden grooves that will make you want to move around the room without breaking too much sweat.
It's a lounge sound in a certain sense for the next generation of jazz fans who like neosoul and hip hop as much as they do jazz, a generation too young to have discovered Us3 in the 1990s. Yet it’s a lot more organic in a way. Bowers’ Rhodes sound and touch is delicious (he opens up on the other Ayers selection ‘Green and Gold’ from Virgin Ubiquity) and Dorsey is ridiculously laidback.