Midnight Crisp / Fly Moon
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A very cool double-length package – one that brings together two full albums from trumpeter Takuya Kuroda! First up is Midnight Crisp – a set that furthers Kuroda's experiments in pushing farther past the jazz of his roots – still graced with plenty of strong trumpet work and bold solo lines – but amidst rhythms that have a nice complexity, and which really push the envelope at times – mostly played live, but with a richness that evokes both the initial broken beat experiments in London, and some of that city's more contemporary modes.
There's a few straighter jazz cuts that balance things out – a mellow moment or two that Freddie Hubbard might have added to a CTI session – and titles include "Dead End Dance", "Old Picture", "Time Coil", "Midnight Crisp", "Choy Soda", and "Fade".
Fly Moon Die Soon is a fantastic chapter in the continuing evolution of trumpeter Takuya Kuroda – a great musician who's got equal parts jazz and soul in his makeup, and who serves up sounds with a nicely cosmic vibe! The set's funky at times, soaringly soulful at others – almost as if Takuya's trying to compete with the CTI 70s spirit of Freddie Hubbard, but with a vision that's all his own – a style that makes Kuroda one of the best of the new generation of genre-breaking soul jazz players who've sprung up in the wake of the Robert Glasper generation – always brimming over with new ideas and fresh styles!
The set features vocals on a few tracks by Corey King – a great singer who's a great match for the sonic qualities of Kuroda – and other musicians include Craig Hill on tenor, Takeshi Ohbayashi on keyboards, and Takahiro Izunmikawa on Fender Rhodes