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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles & Freddie are gone, but there is some great new talent out there!
This is just fantastic, sounds modern and retro at the same time. Very well produced, great musicians. Takuya Kuroda has a punchy style similar to Freddie Hubbard, but the album has a very modern sound, whilst still capturing the essence and feel of some of the early Blue Note albums. Money well spent.
Published 4 months ago by Dean M Tranter

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rising & Still Rising To Be Done....
Takuya Kuroda is certainly no stranger to releasing music, as the trumpeter already has a discography extending back over four self-produced albums and two albums involving his association with long term musical muse Jose James. In the latter case fans of Jose James' Blackmagic' (2010) and 'No Beginning No End' (2013) may have unknowingly listened to Kuroda's trumpet work...
Published 2 months ago by Music Lover


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles & Freddie are gone, but there is some great new talent out there!, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
This is just fantastic, sounds modern and retro at the same time. Very well produced, great musicians. Takuya Kuroda has a punchy style similar to Freddie Hubbard, but the album has a very modern sound, whilst still capturing the essence and feel of some of the early Blue Note albums. Money well spent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rising & Still Rising To Be Done...., 8 May 2014
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This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
Takuya Kuroda is certainly no stranger to releasing music, as the trumpeter already has a discography extending back over four self-produced albums and two albums involving his association with long term musical muse Jose James. In the latter case fans of Jose James' Blackmagic' (2010) and 'No Beginning No End' (2013) may have unknowingly listened to Kuroda's trumpet work whilst their attention was focused on James' extraordinary voice, unless (of course) the listener was committed enough to attempt to read the liner notes with the CD. The musical affinity with James has clearly been of benefit, as it appears that the idea for a solo album came from the vocalist, after having worked with the trumpeter on numerous tours, a musical affinity solidified by James appearing as principal producer on the album, which encompasses eight tracks, featuring two covers of Roy Ayers material, the evergreen 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine' and 'Green & Gold' .

The disc opens with the titular 'Rising Son', which should instantly alert the listener to the groove soaked sound of James' 'No Beginning No End', featuring a dryly delivered drum beat, over which a modulated low keyboard bass line repeats, accompanied by an almost mournful melodic line delivered by Kuroda. What becomes immediately clear is that Kuroda is concerned with working within the parameters of 'the groove', with little space left for a free ranging scat or extended improvisation. 'Afro Blues' as a title might immediately suggest Mongo Santamaria but this is not the case, instead one is presented with another groove, influenced by the musical rhythms of Africa, particularly the Western accented interpretation presented as 'Afro-Beat'. 'Piri Piri' takes the pace down, featuring another low delivered bass underpinning over which Kuroda and Corey King (Trombone) harmonize along a singular groove driven musical line. 'Mala', opening with a faster groove opens with light piano phrasing (courtesy of Kris Bowers), before the undoubted highlight of the album, the cover of Roy Ayers 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine'. Here the song is presented as a low groove driven vehicle, acknowledging the influence of Hip Hop and Funk, before Jose James delivers another accomplished vocal, apparently nonchalant in delivery, yet supremely effective in communicating the observed relaxation found in the original. This is an instant 'repeat' track.

'Green & Gold' is another Roy Ayers cover, delivered tightly, allowing Kuroda the space to deliver short, sharply accentuated notes, continuing the sense of musical precision which permeates the album. 'Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow' was written in memory of Kuroda's Grandfather, and it remains suitably reserved and low key. 'Call' continues this overall feel, remaining firmly rooted in harmonizing over a lovely groove.

So. Do you buy?

This is an album likely to divide listeners, depending on the musical history and associated expectations they bring with them and, perhaps most importantly, their awareness of how their engagement may be influenced as a result. This is an album locked firmly in to the opportunities afforded by the tight parameters of 'the groove', driven by 'feel', and as a result some might find the project limited in scope and lacking in dynamic expression. If your expectation of a Jazz album is an exploration of modalities, time signatures and harmonic range then this is not likely to appeal, but for any generation existing with a musical attenuation featuring Hip Hip Hop and Funk this may well represent a welcome point of engagement for Jazz, devoid of any intellectually driven agenda, working within very tightly 'groove' driven lines.

Subjectively the highlight of the album remains the cover of 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine', and one suspects that the next effort by Kuroda will seek to highlight a greater range of musical expression and accomplishment, surely accepted as key features of the Jazz artist. This is, therefore, a largely subdued effort that serves as an introduction (especially given the involvement of Jose James) to (hopefully) greater things.

6/10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure class., 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
Everybody loves the sunshine is sublime.
Highlight of this great album.
More you listen the better it gets.
Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Note Debut, 21 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. C. W. Smith "karyobin@hotmail.com" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
Kuroda's Blue Note debut sees him stepping out from the shadow of vocalist Jose James whose band he has played in for several years now and most of whom appear on this sterling recording.

I was first attracted to this recording on hearing the title track, initially thinking it was Nils Petter Molvaer with it's light, tight blowing over a ethereal electronic beat but I was pleasantly surprised on purchase that Takuya has a super cool burnished tone all of his own and each track is a little gem.

There are 6 original pieces, all are tight and exquisitely played by a band, as I stated above, whose core is in Mr James's regular unit. Afro Blues and Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow vie with the title track for the standout plaudits. The two covers (both Roy Ayers tunes) to my mind are the weakest tracks but great fun none the less. Trombone player Corey King is a superb foil for Takuya and their respective tones and phrasing works well throughout the recording.

This is already my favourite recording this year and it's only March.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but don't get too excited., 11 July 2014
This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
This should be a great album, and it has some really promising moments, but there's an underlying safeness/dullness to the whole affair that makes me want to put on something exciting (maybe Monday Michiru or the Lounge Lizards).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a listen..., 10 May 2014
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
'Rising Son' is everything that previous reviewers have suggested it is. Harking back to the jazz funksters of the 1970's this is a sophisticated and sensuous groovesome album that trumpeter and composer Kuroda has put together. It matches old school trumpet and trombone with electric piano atop, playing some contagiously listenable melodies atop some brilliantly hip-swerving jazz-funk rhythms. Whether or not you are a 'jazz' fan or soul-brother or whatever category of listener you might define yourself of being, 'Rising Son' is wholly entertaining treat to the ears and should be in your collection! This album isn't so much about 'hot' playing,although there is plenty of it on display, as fitting into a feeling. Put this album on and feel instantly moved. It's music for a summer's day, late night or whenever. Yes it's 'feel good' music that still has its jazz credentials very much intact. Listen closely and you'll hear players like guitarist Lionel Loueke add tasty little licks or Koroda himself on one of the discs' highlights,'Everyone Loves the Sunshine' play a little trumpet melody that serves as a wonderful little introduction to what is a monster tune.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very chilled, 4 May 2014
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This review is from: Rising Son (Audio CD)
I bought this very randomly when searching for something else. I love it. Very chilled out and I listen to it continuously in the car.
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Rising Son
Rising Son by Takuya Kuroda (Audio CD - 2014)
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