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Jin Jin / Firefly

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Album Review

Recorded on the Okinawan island of Taketomi, Jin Jin/Firefly documents a rare encounter between Okinawan singer/sanshin player Takashi Hirayasu and acoustic guitarist Bob Brozman. Forming a duo, the two prove to be highly compatible — and when you think about it, they're a logical combination. Hirayasu's foundation is Okinawan music, which contains both Japanese and Polynesian elements; Brozman, meanwhile, is considered a master of the Hawaiian guitar and is no stranger to the sounds of the Pacific Islands. So it isn't hard for them to find common ground on "Akata Sun Dunchi," "Chinnuku Jushi," and other traditional Okinawan children's songs that Hirayasu selected. What the duo does with the songs isn't entirely traditional, however. Brozman brings plenty of blues, rock, and Hawaiian influence to the session, and that works for Hirayasu because the Okinawa native is hip to blues and rock himself. Hirayasu and Brozman both have a lot of charisma, and that proves to be mutually beneficial on this excellent CD.


Born: 08 March 1954 in New York, NY

Genre: World

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

Multi-instrumentalist, historian, and educator Bob Brozman was born in New York on March 8, 1954. His uncle, Barney Josephson, was a prominent club owner who ran Cafe Society in Greenwich Village, one of the first places in New York, or anywhere, where black and white musicians played on-stage together. Brozman studied music and ethnomusicology at Washington University in St. Louis. Brozman became not only a master of classic blues from the '20s and '30s, but also a competent performer of early...
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