8 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Japanese-born trumpeter Takuya Kuroda can often be found playing in singer Jose James’s band, so it should come as no surprise that Rising Sun finds him (with James at the production board) working a similar sort of groove-based jazz that mixes in R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop. Here, on his fourth album and first for Blue Note, he’s joined by the impressive young crew of keyboardist Kris Bowers, bassist Solomon Dorsey, drummer Nate Smith, and trombonist Corey King. The band has an insistent midtempo feel carried on the backs of Dorsey and Smith’s steady playing, balanced by Bowers' dreamy keyboards and the often long, soft tones played by Kuroda. Highlights include the uptempo title track and the deeply funky “Piri Piri,” which has Kuroda’s most expressive solo on the album. Guest turns by James on the Roy Ayers classic “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” and guitarist Lionel Loueke on the aptly titled “Afro Blues” are also strong. Definitely for fans of Bowers' acclaimed solo debut, not to mention labelmates Robert Glasper and Jose James.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Japanese-born trumpeter Takuya Kuroda can often be found playing in singer Jose James’s band, so it should come as no surprise that Rising Sun finds him (with James at the production board) working a similar sort of groove-based jazz that mixes in R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop. Here, on his fourth album and first for Blue Note, he’s joined by the impressive young crew of keyboardist Kris Bowers, bassist Solomon Dorsey, drummer Nate Smith, and trombonist Corey King. The band has an insistent midtempo feel carried on the backs of Dorsey and Smith’s steady playing, balanced by Bowers' dreamy keyboards and the often long, soft tones played by Kuroda. Highlights include the uptempo title track and the deeply funky “Piri Piri,” which has Kuroda’s most expressive solo on the album. Guest turns by James on the Roy Ayers classic “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” and guitarist Lionel Loueke on the aptly titled “Afro Blues” are also strong. Definitely for fans of Bowers' acclaimed solo debut, not to mention labelmates Robert Glasper and Jose James.

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