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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

on 6 November 2001
Kodo have always been renowned for their live act and, over the past decade, have released two live albums: 1991's "Gathering" and this album, released before the masterpiece that was "Ibuki". On a technical and musical side - totally faultless. The music is so precise and accurate it's beyond belief. Even when they dramatically increase the tempo, not a single beat is dropped. The song selection too is great - "Zoku", "O-Daiko" and "Yatai-Bayashi" have long been staples of the Kodo live set, and are well represented here.
When I say it can disappoint is that it just does not do any justice to the sheer energy and dynamics of an actual Kodo performance. The CD recording sounds a bit plain and toned down. When played live, "Zoku" is absolutely ASTOUNDING, but the CD recording won't move you half as much. You also lose the visual aspect of the performance too - everything is finely choreographed and it takes only one look at Eiichi Saito to prove they're having fun out there! Perhaps a DVD with 5.1 Surround Sound would've been a better medium.
If you're looking into going to a Kodo performance (it's best not to think about it, but to do it), the sound quality may put you off. If you've been to a performance and are approaching this album as a replica of the performance, it may disappoint you there too.
In any case, this is still a fine CD and worthy of adding to your collection. You might also want to scout around for "Gathering" to hear live Kodo in a different way... like "Zoku" with a jazzy piano break!
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on 19 February 2001
This is the closest that the listener can come to the Kodo experience without having to see them live. The tracks are well selected and my only disappointment is that there is no "Lion" or "Chonlima" here, both of which come into there own when played live. The undoubtable highlight for me though is O-Daiko, the big drum. This can come in different sizes but goes usually from four to to six feet in diameter. This essentially is a solo effort and reflects best the whole kodo philosophy as it requires not only expert technical ability but also incredible amounts of physical strength and stamina and as a result, is best appreciated live. The whole pouring of commitment to the art form that occurs at each kodo gig can be felt on this recording and nothing of the timing that makes the group is lost through the live medium. This is highly recommendable. I have not seen the video version but I am sure it is well worth it, if not only for the backdrop. Get it!
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