SEIJIN NOBORIKAWA & MISAKO OSHIRO
Probably the greatest living male and female singers of Okinawan traditional music get together to record their first 'duet' album. Simple versions of standard Okinawan traditional tunes, with occasional accompaniment of Toru Yonaha. Noborikawa is now 80 and Oshiro 76, and still sound on pretty good form, if not exactly in their prime. Listening to this, with their joyful, playful, strong and laid back manner, perhaps you can understand why Okinawans can be expected to live longer than just about anyone else in the world (although their rank of life expectancy within Japan has been falling in recent years). Listen to samples of all tracks.
1. Nakuni-Yanbarutimatu 2. Uminu Chinbora-Akayama 3. Densuna Bushi 4. Erabuyuri No Hana 5. Kaisare 6. Ichi Hanari Bushi 7. Tanchame-Kachirin Bushi 8. Yacchaguwa 9. Shirahama Bushi 10. Isa Heiyo-densa Bushi 11. Hayakuduch (Haru No Odori) 12. Taigan Kuduchi 13. Mumuuianguwa 14. Hiji Guwa Bushi 15. Harikuyamaku
Just One Night at Cay 2010.8.29 (2 CDs)
2 CDs, 19 tracks, 138 minutes of Seijin Noborikawa live. This includes a fair amount of talk among the music, including the first track. But once the music gets going, it's an aural pleasure. Backed up by young musicians, Hajime Nakasone (vocals, sanshin), Natsuki Nakamura (shimadaiko, hayashi), this is an important document of probably the island's greatest living elder musician. Cay is a well known venue in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Fountain of Songs
First album for about two years from Seijin Noborikawa, one of the last surviving greats of Okinawan music. 12 tracks from originals to traditional. On this evidence Seijin shows no signs of wilting, despite turning 78 this year. Simple traditional small band music featuring sanshin, percussion and hayashi backing vocals.
It's great to see that in 2008 the venerable Seijin Noborikawa is still releasing albums now 77 years old. Not only that, he's still writing new tunes too, some included on this 14 track album. Other tunes are standard favourites and lesser known traditional tunes including a few 'kuduchi' lyrical stories about trips. Traditional style with sanshin, shima daiko (drum) and sanba (castanets) for accompaniment.
It's only Seigwa- The Best of Seijin Noborikawa 1975-2004
21 track compilation from one of the greats of Okinawan music, Seijin Noborikawa. 'Seigwa' as he is sometimes referred to is known as the 'Okinawan Jimi Hendrix' for his fast sanshin playing. Born in Hyogo prefecture in Japan in 1930 he moved back to Okinawa when a child, formed an association with another great, the late Rinsho Kadekaru, taught a young Sadao China and became president of the Ryukyu Minyo Kyokai (Okinawan Traditional Music Society). He released relatively few albums, but this one includes examples from most of them, from his 1975 albums for JVC Victor, duets with Rinsho Kadekaru (including the sound sample) and later albums for Respect with Sadao China and Japanese rock band Soul Flower Union. Recommended.
Shimauta No Sekai
Live footage plus interview with possibly the greatest living Okinawan musician. Filmed by NHK (national Japanese TV) but never broadcast. Directed by Yuji Nakae, the fantastic director of the hit films Nabbie no Koi and Hotel Hibiscus. Filmed in the late 1990s. 59 minutes.
SEIJIN NOBORIKAWA & SADAO CHINA
Seijin Noborikawa & Sadao China
Probably Okinawa's two greatest musicians get together for a recording. Sadao China is probably best known for producing the female quartet Nenes, and writing most of their songs. Noborikawa is from a generation above, a funky, bluesy musician and one of the great characters of Okinawan music. Pure traditional material, sung seperately and in unison. Sanshin and taiko drumming on selection of uptempo and plaintive material, some standards, some lesser known. Simple and simply brilliant.
Seinen-Jidai No Seijin Noborikawa
Enjoying a new found national fame after starring in two films, the early recordings of one of Okinawa's greatest musical figures. Includes Seijin's first ever recording, and other infectious tracks from a bygone era. Solo and with other legendary artists such as Sadao China, Rinsho Kadekaru and the Four Sisters.
Excellent new recording by the elder statesman of Okinawan traditional music, now in his twilight years, but his most prolific in recording terms. Raw, traditional album featuring sanshin, vocals and taiko drums. Good selection of material ranging from the very famous, 'Asadoya Yunta', 'Nakuni' to the talking blues kudochi style, and even Seijin's young grandchildren on the opening track.
After the death of Rinsho Kadekaru, perhaps Seijin Noborikawa stands as the island's most loved and respected elder muscian. But Noborikawa (or "Seigwa" as he is often referred to) equally stands alone. He doesn't fit into the 'traditional' musician category easily. He doesn't usually dress in kimono, doesn't only sing traditional repertroire but composes his own, anti-war and other protest songs, developed his own six string sanshin, the 'rokushin', and is known as the Okinawan 'Jimi Hendrix' for his fast sanshin playing. Born in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan in 1930, he moved back to Okinawa as a child. A sanshin player from childhood he performed as a backing musician for the Matsuda Gekidan Theatre Group, where he perfected the traditional style and first met Rinsho Kadekaru, an association that would last a lifetime. Noborikawa later worked on an American base where he heard and digested the American hit songs of the day, an influence that crept into his own music. Nevertheless, he was one of the founding members and later president of the Ryukyu Min'yo Kyokai, a traditional music society, and taught the sanshin to a 12 year old Sadao China. Perhaps overshadowed by Kadekaru and other traditional singers, he released relatively few albums. A couple of cassettes for Marafuku in the 1960s, an album for JVC in 1975, and then a comeback album in 1998, 'Howling Wolf". It was only after his starring role in the 1999 film "Nabbie no Koi" (Nabbie's Love) that his fame spread to the rest of Japan. "Spiritual Unity" was produced by Takashi Nakagawa of Soul Flower Union, who along with his band mates plays on some of the songs. It features both well known traditional songs, and new compositions penned by Noborikawa, highlighting his unique lyrics and songs.
Seijin Noborikawa is sometimes called the Jimi Hendrix of Okinawa, for his fast sanshin playing, ably demonstrated here on this live album, which also conveys his sense of humour.
Noborikawa's comeback album from 1998. Two CD set, the cover in the Blue Note style, the blues comparison to Howling Wolf not going unnoticed. Brilliant stuff.
A child prodigy of the sanshin, another of the pivotal figures of Okinawan music, recorded twenty five years ago.