452

Kozo Suganuma: Kozo

By

Sign in to view read count
In the early '90s, drummer Kozo Suganuma formed half of the rhythm section of the legendary Japanese fusion trio Fragile. His eponymous solo CD on the Jewel Sound label features eight tracks of modern and traditional fusion, including one Coltrane standard and four tracks written by Fragile guitarist Koichi Yabori.



Kozo opens with the snappy fusion jam "Double Black Feather." The pace slows with the drum solo track "Brush Fire," although this exposition is kept tastefully short at under two minutes. The record picks back up with "Tales of the Temple" and the half-time groove of "Mistic Island." After the ballad "Cloudiness" and the Coltrane standard "Moment's Notice," the record closes with the snappy, Caribbean-influenced "Beat Kids."



Fragile was often compared to '90s fusion giants Tribal Tech, and that similarity is also prominent in the sound and the songwriting on Kozo. Part of the sonic likeness may be due to Scott Kinsey, Tribal Tech's keyboardist, handling keyboard duties on the record. In addition, several of the songs composed by Fragile guitarist Yabori clone the Tribal Tech style of light guitar-based fusion almost exactly. "Tales of the Temple" has the grooving bass guitar melody that characterizes classic Gary Willis tunes. "Coriander" sounds like it's right out of the Tribal Tech live set, and it even includes Yabori playing several Scott Henderson guitar licks note for note.



One major sonic element sets Kozo aside from the Tribal Tech guitar-based fusion style—the saxophone work of Bob Malach and Hiroyuki Yagi. The timbre of the sax adds a mellowness and a traditional jazz flavor that gives the music depth, particularly on the ballad "Cloudiness" and the Caribbean jam "Beat Kids." Suganuma was wise to include a saxophonist on the majority of the tracks on his record.



The playing by all musicians is excellent. Yabori knows when to lead the band with his skilled guitar work and when to sit back. Bassist Lincoln Goines holds down the bottom, providing snappy lead work on "Tales of the Temple" and "Moment's Notice." Kinsey lays down solid background chording and only steps into the forefront when warranted, as he does with Tribal Tech. Suganuma's drumming occasionally sounds excessively bombastic or heavy-handed, but the one place a little over-reaching play by a drummer can be excused is on his own solo record.



Fans of electric fusion and fans of Fragile should check out Kozo. This solo record offers plenty of solid fusion composing and snappy playing, with a standard and a ballad thrown in for variety.



Visit Kozo Suganuma on the web.

Track Listing: 1. Double Black Feather; 2. Brush Fire; 3. Tales of the Temple; 4. Mistic Island; 5. Coriander; 6. Cloudiness; 7. Moment's Notice; 8. Beat Kids.

Personnel: Kozo Suganuma -- drums; Koichi Yabori -- guitar; Lincoln Goines -- bass (credited as "Licoln Goines"); Scott Kinsey -- keyboards; Bob Malach -- sax; Hiroyuki Yagi -- sax.

Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Jewel Sound | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics" CD/LP/Track Review Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
by Paul Naser
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "This Could Be That" CD/LP/Track Review This Could Be That
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Tropical Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Tropical Infinito
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!