Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Humming Jazz

by Kenichiro Nishihara

I know absolutely nothing about this artist, and had never heard of him before I sampled this album on-line. I still don't know anything about him (I can't read Japanese), but I know that this is a very nice album.

It's a blend of jazz and hip-hop, and it doesn't sound Japanese in the least - not that I would think that there is a signature 'Japanese' sound - I just mean that it fits perfectly within the oeuvre of trippy, jazzy hip-hop that is available in North America, with, I felt, a slight touch of first-album Foreign Exchange tossed in for good measures.

The songs tend to be either straight up hip-hop, with guest appearances by Substantial and some rappers I'm not familiar with (but I do like this Gregg Green guy); or they are jazzy instrumentals. There are also a few R'n'B style tracks, with some very nice drum work by Nishihara.

This is not an album that is breaking new ground, but in a winter where very little is being released, this is a very good find.

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