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.

TITLE TIME PRICE
4:43 $1.29
7:23 Album Only
7:04 Album Only
5:59 $1.29
9:25 Album Only
4:58 $1.29
6:35 $1.29
9:14 Album Only

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

39 Ratings

Rising Son: Taku Kuroda

Ericka Simone,

Stellar turn from Jose James' go-to trumpeter. Fresh take on modern jazz and horns; reminiscent of Roy Hardgrove's early works. Great to have him on the scene. Expecting more from him soon.

a promising start

Shoofai,

Takuya Kuroda’s “Rising Son” is a good album, with great brass arrangements and admirable production from José James, but it lacks a bit of excitement.
Overall, I strongly recommend the album because Takuya has a great sound and promising composing talent, and because it’s simply lovely to listen to.
Looking forward for new compositions!

About Takuya Kuroda

Jazz trumpeter Takuya Kuroda is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward mixing post-bop and adventurous soul-jazz. Born in Kobe, Japan, Kuroda followed his older trombonist brother into the local music scene, playing in big bands. After studying music in Japan, Kuroda relocated to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Kuroda befriended upcoming jazz vocalist José James, who invited Kuroda to record with him. Kuroda appeared on James' 2010 sophomore album, Blackmagic, and later on No Beginning No End -- for which he also wrote the horn arrangements.

Upon leaving Berklee, Kuroda moved to New York City, where he enrolled at the New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music program, graduating in 2006. After graduating, Kuroda quickly ensconced himself in the vibrant N.Y.C. jazz scene, performing with such artists as Junior Mance, Greg Tardy, Andy Ezrin, Jiro Yoshida, Akoya Afrobeat, Valery Ponomarev's big band, and others. In 2011, Kuroda released the independently produced album Edge, followed by Bitter & High and Six Aces in 2012.

In 2013, Kuroda signed with Blue Note Records and recorded his third solo album, the José James-produced Rising Son. Released in 2014, Rising Son featured a strong soul-jazz and hip-hop influence exemplified by the presence of several Roy Ayers compositions including "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," which featured James on vocals.

In 2016, Kuroda returned with his fifth solo album, and first for Concord, Zigzagger. Produced by Kuroda, the album found the trumpeter expanding upon his funk, fusion, and hip-hop-influenced sound with another set of mostly original compositions. Included on the album was a collaboration with New York Afro-beat ensemble Antibalas. ~ Matt Collar

  • ORIGIN
    Kobe, Japan
  • GENRE
    Jazz
  • BORN
    February 21, 1980

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