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Little Tokyo

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Album Review

Little Tokyo is Hiroshima's brilliant musical reference to the importance of maintaining a positive, multicultural world view in the midst of international and intercultural tensions. The group has often used this type of subject matter and symbolism in their songs to convey the feelings and moods which have been inspired by current events, places, and people. The 11 songs span several musical styles including sensibilities inherent in Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Asian music. "Midnight Sun" spotlights the work of Shoji Kameda and Kenny Endo. The taiko drum masters complement each other as they underscore June Kuramoto's lovely koto work and Dan Kuramoto's exotic saxophone lines that exude a mysteriously melodic feeling. Guest keyboardist and labelmate James K. Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream sits in on the catchy tune titled "Lanai." The song includes plenty of spirited accompaniment and passionate lyricism from the Kuramotos. The syncopated closer, "Little Tokyo Underground," is Hiroshima's tip of the hat to the funk-jazz crowd. The funky grooves coupled with the adventurous shades of contemporary jazz adds yet another dimension to this artistic array of musical compositions.


Formed: 1974 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Hiroshima, a group whose music falls between R&B, pop, world music, and jazz, has long had its own niche. The band integrates traditional Japanese instruments into their musical blend and has generally been both commercial and creative within its genre. Hiroshima's founding members are keyboardist Dan Kuramoto (who also played shakuhachi), June Okida Kuramoto on koto (a key part of the group's sound), Johnny Mori on taiko drums, and Danny Yamamoto on drums, percussion, and taiko. Other additions...
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Little Tokyo, Hiroshima
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