Thursday, January 5, 2023

Album Review: Takuya Kuroda - Midnight Crisp

Takuya Kuroda
Midnight Crisp
***and1/2 out of *****

The opening title track of Takuya Kuorda's newest release, Midnight Crisp, is a exhilarating splash of funky jazz as the dynamic multi-instrumentalist flashes grooving beats, huge horn breaks, cyclical repetition, unique breakdowns, solos, synchronicity and that special something; it is an emphatic way to kick off the artists seventh studio album. 

The prolific Kuroda has released six albums over the last ten years and remains in stellar form on this "mini album" as the six songs all deliver interesting results. After the kick ass album opener, the players (Corey King (vocals, trombone), Craig Hill (tenor saxophone) Rashaan Carter (bass), Ryo Ogihara (guitar), Takahiro Izumikawa (keys), Keita Ogawa (percussion), and Adam Jackson (drums)) go more the electro fusion route with "Time Coil" which features interlocking fast changes, grooving low end and a trumpet solo that pops out of the speakers.       

The boom-bap-beat starts "It's Okay" whose title adeptly covers this track; it is fine but a bit bland with much more exciting music and interplay surrounding it. "Dead End Dance" is much better as the ominous groove allows for horns and strings to rampage all over before locking in sweetly and fluttering away to end. 

"Old Picture" is smoother but also not as exciting as the players roll along, but album closer "Choy Soda" wraps things up on a winning note. The song starts with big funky fusion and breathy vocals from King before wandering a bit letting the instrumentalist feel each other out before a simply breath taking drum display by Jackson to kick start a furious ending to a successful track and album. 

Takuya Kuorda's Midnight Crisp combines soulful jazz, funk, post-bop, fusion and hip hop as all of the players involve push and pull throughout the six strong songs.  
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

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