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ALBUM REVIEWS

Akira Tana & Otonowa: Ai San San: Love's Radiance

Read "Ai San San: Love's Radiance" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Ai San San: Love's Radiance is musical transformation of the highest caliber. It employs traditional and contemporary Japanese melodies and molds them into a marvelously arranged and performed jazz album. Traditional Japanese instruments enhance textural dimension. The opener, “Antagata Dakosa," is vaguely reminiscent of Mongo Santamaria's “Afro Blue" and is a terrific straight-ahead burner that kicks in hard after Masaru Koga's muscular tenor saxophone calls. Noriyuki Ken Okada's gorgeous bass sings the melody of the title track ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Akira Tana: Moon Over The World

Read "Moon Over The World" reviewed by John Kelman

While the influence and adaptability of European sources to modern jazz is a given, there seems to be little credit or credibility given to the Asian subcontinent. With his Asian American Jazz Trio, consisting of pianist Ted Lo and bassist Rufus Reid, drummer Akira Tana looks to Chinese and Japanese folk songs, television theme songs and popular music for inspiration. The result, Moon Over the World , is a fascinating and engaging blend of Oriental themes with contemporary post bop.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Akira Tana: Secret Agent Men

Read "Secret Agent Men" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Sure, it's kitschy and gimmicky and a bit predictable, but Secret Agent Men, veteran drummer Akira Tana's treatment of real and imagined movie themes, works for one simple reason - it grooves like hell! And with ringers like Dr. Lonnie Smith at the B-3, Rodney Jones on guitar, and Tana's frequent collaborator Rufus Reid on bass, what else would you expect? The ensemble - which also includes Bob Kenmotsu on saxophones and Chuggy Carter on percussion - ...


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