Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Takuya Kuroda Rising Sun Blue Note 2014

The finest modern jazz trumpet player working today...
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Old school...been there done that. Take the fundamentals of old school and merge them with a contemporary soulful and soul filled vibe and you have Rising Son from Takuya Kuroda. Having given up Blue Note for dead since they seemed to be content with Jason Moran as their jazz artist, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across this stellar offering.
 
Takuya quickly made a name and solid reputation gigging with Jose James band, now he is acting as the cultural by product of his own experience with a nuanced hip-hop and r&b flavor that is the new cool sound that straight ahead jazz has been searching for. The band here is tight, the real deal. Young phenom Kris Bowers handles the keyboard duties while trombonist Corey King provides a lyrical counterpoint. The rhythm section of drummer Nate Smith and electric bassist Solomon Dorsey add finesse and colors respectively that work as melodic threads in this new school tapestry of sound. Jose James makes an appearance on an amazing reharm of  Roy Ayers "Everybody Loves The Sunshine." The Afrobeat "Rising Son" captures the new sound of modern jazz while still having one foot firmly in the past. Roots.
 
"Afro Blues" may well be the harmonic cornerstone from which this release is built. Lionel Loueke contributes a blues infused rhythmic solo that embraces the backbone of the flavor that permeates Rising Son. Kuroda has a warm spatial tone with a zen like approach of no notes wasted while his soulful intensity might best be categorized as Lee Morgan on steroids.
 
Takuya Kuroda is an artist whose musical stock is an arrow pointing straight up!
Tracks: Rising Son; Afro Blues; Piri Piri; Mala; Everybody Loves The Sun; Green and Gold; Sometime, Somewhere; Call.