22 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings
5 Ratings

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

As the old saying goes: “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” and I suppose that extends to CD’s as well. However, its hard not to be extremely impressed with the first impression flutist Ron Korb’s "Asia Beauty" CD makes with its stunning packaging and 36 page booklet with gorgeous full color photos and liner notes. Before even hearing the music, you are drawn into Ron’s world travels to exotic places and spaces. Fortunately, the music is equally impressive as well.

On “Asia Beauty,” Ron and his extensive collection of flutes from around the world are accompanied by a wide variety of Eastern and Western instruments, played by a fine cast of musicians who have performed or recorded with the likes of Sting, Suzanne Vega, Peter Gabriel, Loreena McKennit, and more. On “The Journey Begins,” Ron writes in the liner notes: “Many of the songs on this album derive their themes from an original story titled “Jade Dragon Flute and the House of The Five Beauties,” which I wrote in a hotel room in Shanghai.” The next 7 songs are like musical chapters in this unfolding story. I want to emphasize that whether it is in his writing or song, storytelling is a strong element in Ron’s creative expression. His music is visually and emotionally evocative, painting exotic soundscapes that draw the listener into their world.

I greatly enjoyed the pleasant pastoral sounds of “Country Life,” with its fusion of 3 different flutes, traditional Asian instruments, two guitars, piano, bass, and percussion. Also along these lines, although certainly not as pastoral is “The Sword of Heaven,” where the drums are much more out front, driving this jazz and rock-influenced fusion. And bringing the vibe down a few notches to put the album to bed is the final track, “Jasmine Lullaby,” which provides the perfect nightcap for this hour and fourteen-minute epic cross-cultural musical journey.

This unique musical blending of East and West is exquisitely composed, arranged, and performed. I highly recommend getting the album in CD form as the artwork, photos, and packaging add another dimension to this masterful multi-media presentation.

Music Lover 731

Charming, sweet and uplifting. . .

With over 30 album releases, Ron Korb is famous for playing a wide variety of indigenous woodwinds from around the world and traditional western flutes as well. Having lived in Japan and being very fond of the culture and music, he has already released several Asian themed albums. Here in Asian Beauty, he offers us 22 delightful pieces. Charming, sweet and uplifting, this album is full of exotic oriental moods, both magical and energizing. Sure to please lovers of the flute and aficionados of Eastern music as well !


A journey riding high on the tunes

On this record ASIA BEAUTY, Ron Korb gets an exquisite sound from his instruments, and he knows just how to build that sound into arrangements that tell the world about another part of the world. There’s so much warmth and comfort playing through on HANOI CAFÉ and HOUSE OF THE FIVE BEAUTIES. You feel a sense of ‘going there’ as PALACE GARDEN and THE REED CAVE play; it kind of takes you on a journey to an interesting land. JASMINE LULLABY is in the true essence of lullaby- calm, soothing. Wonderful music right through.

About Ron Korb

In addition to issuing several solo albums, flutist and composer Ron Korb has also lent his talents to motion picture soundtracks and other artists recordings. Of Japanese and Canadian heritage, Korb discovered his love of wind instruments from playing the recorder as a child and the flute in his teens, joining an Irish fife and drum band while still in high school and building a deep admiration for jazz music. After graduating with honors from the University of Toronto, Korb discovered a Chinese bamboo flute, which subsequently became his primary instrument of choice. Soon after, Korb recorded his debut album, 1990's Tear of the Sun, with tabla player Donald Quan, which led to Korb moving to Japan in the early '90s to study traditional flutes, where he also recorded his sophomore effort, 1993's Japanese Mysteries. Korb was then hired as a songwriter for the JCM publishing company in Tokyo, where a song he penned for singer Alan Tam became a huge hit and was selected as Best Original Composition by Radio and Television Hong Kong. Korb's interest with different kinds of flutes continued to grow, as his third album, 1994's Flute Traveller, contained 15 different flutes from around the world. For his next release, 1995's Behind the Mask, Korb penned a short story about Indonesian shadow puppet plays, which contained a wide variety of musical styles, including Spanish, Indonesian, Chinese, calypso, and Celtic. Subsequently, Korb penned the music for the Mitra Sen film Just a Little Red Dot and the TV shows Legacy and Emily of New Moon, plus issuing further albums -- Taming the Dragon, Titanic: Odyssey, and Persian Arabesque, the latter credited to a band Korb formed with bassist Donald Quan and pianist Stephen Bacchus. Over the years, Korb has guested on recordings by such artists as Pat Clemence, Mychael Danna, Bruce Mitchell, and Bacchus, among others. ~ Greg Prato