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Album Review

The prominence won by Matsumoto as lead guitarist with B'Z earns him an all-instrumental solo showcase on Hana. His influences are apparent; "Little Wing" is essentially an offering placed at the altar of Jimi Hendrix, complete with lo-fi, Mitch Mitchell-like snare timbre, and a somewhat watery wah-wah. On most other tracks, though, Matsumoto's plangent melodies, written and improvised, are as ambient as restaurant music, with a pentatonic tendency that has little to do with blues. This is especially apparent on his cover of "Romeo & Juliet," whose ponderous spoken intro, dripping sentimentality, and incongruous collisions of skipping 6/8 figures and squalling rock clichés could only have derived from a Japanese pop sensibility. Clearly, Matsumoto can shred; more often, he puts his music together carefully, which explains why, like arranged flowers, Hana is beautiful, balanced, and ultimately static. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi


Genre: Rock

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

Takahiro Matsumoto, better known as simply Tak Matsumoto, rose to become Asia's undisputed number one rock guitarist of his time, mainly because of the success of his band B'z, although his solo and collaborative efforts played a viable role in establishing his reputation as well. Matsumoto developed his rock obsession at the start of high school, quickly moving from simply listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin to buying a Gibson Les Paul and practicing for ten...
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