Shakuhachi Jazz. Minoru Muraoka's fabled 1970 cross-cultural J-jazz masterpiece gets the official reissue treatment, courtesy of Mr. Bongo. For the uninitiated, Bamboo is the kinda record that gets sweated by the likes of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist (and elite diggers in general) for the heavy breaks and loops buried within the grooves, not too mention the overall rarity of original pressings (which obviously cost a pretty penny). For those that dig beyond the breaks however, you are rewarded with a unique listening experience that bridges the traditional instrumentation of the East with jazz and pop standards of the West. Minoru Muraoka's weapon of choice here is the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute, that lends an exotic touch to even the most recognizable of tracks (ahem, "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck). Paired alongside the koto (strings), tsutsumi (drums) and biwa (more strings), Muraoka produces a singular sound that entrances jazz and Japanese folk lovers alike, simultaneously creating an accessible entry point into the (very) deep world of Japanese jazz. Recommended.
- gatefold jacket w/ liner notes (in Japanese)
- music label: Mr Bongo 2019
reviewed by Hontou 06/2019