Shima Wataru - Across The Islands
Welcome new album from the brilliant Yasukatsu Oshima, one of the best of the current crop of Okinawan musicians. 13 original songs mostly written by Oshima, accompanied by some wonderful musicians including Kanako Hatoma (vocals, sanshin, sanba), Kenji Kondo from Kuricorder Quartet (acoustic guitar, ukulele), Tetsu Sanday Nakasone (taiko), Katsumi Usui (percussion, drums), Hiroshi Yamaguchi of Heatwave (electric guitar, bouzuki) and Sakana Hosomi also of Heatwave, (hamond organ, accordion, electric piano).
1. Kawa 2. Tabiji 3. Matsuri No Ato 4. Kunatsuyu 5. Ryuusei 6. Mantara Iwai 7. Yunamuri 8. Hateruma 9. Shima Wataru 10. Itayoi Tsukiya Hama 11. Agarikata Bushi 12. Tabiji 13. Yunamuri
YASUKATSU OSHIMA WITH GEOFFREY KEEZER
Yasukatsu Oshima with Geoffrey Keezer
Geoffrey Keezer is a first class jazz pianist, having started off playing with Art Blakey then going to record with a host of top musicians from Diana Krall to Chick Corea. He is also a great collaborative musician having played with Hawaii's Keola Beamer. Like many before him, including fellow pianists George Winston and Michael Nyman, he seems to have caught the Okinawa bug and has recorded an album with Yaeyama's Yasukatsu Oshima. Oshima is a fantastic sanshin player, has Okinawan music running through his vains and is one of the best interpreters of traditional songs. Excellent album of 10 songs, with Keezer an innovative yet wholy respectful collaborator. Recorded in New York the album also features several of Keezer's regular jazz band, on saxes, clarinet, electric guitar, trumpet and drums. A varied album with some hauntingly beautiful moments, and some more upbeat joyful times. Recommended. 1. Ryusei ( Oshima original) 2. Tsuki nu Kaisha (Yaeyama traditional) 3. Kuinupana (Yaeyama traditional) 4. Sukikanna (Okinawa traditional) 5. Tinsagu nu Hana (Okinawa traditional) 6. Menuhama (Okinawa traditional) 7. Agarikata Bushi (Oshima original) 8. Sagechijyuya (Okinawa traditional) 9. Ufarakuitsui (Yaeyama traditional) 10. Uyamaari (Yaeyama traditional).
Excellent new album from the wonderful singer and sanshin player from Ishigaki island, Yaeyama. Oshima has a brittle, expressive voice, steeped in tradition yet distinctively his own. On this album of 13 tracks, Oshima plays both traditional standards from Yaeyama and Miyako island, and a smattering of his own songs. The impressive guest list includes Kanako Hatoma (voice, hayashi (backing vocals) sanshin, UA (hayashi) Ayano Kinjo of Kiroro (piano), Jiang Juan Hua (erhu) and Dermot Byrne from Altan (accordion).
Ohshima's fifth album and one of his best. His dramatic voice and sanshin are accompanied by mainly violin, guitar and percussion. However, there is little compromise to Western music, despite the songs being mostly Ohshima originals, they still sound deeply rooted in hundreds of years of tradition. Finally receiving some deserved recognition at home, and has successfully toured in the UK. Still in his early thirties, arguably the new standard bearer of Okinawan traditional music. Comes with excellent English liner notes and lyric translations.
Songs of My Islands
From Ishigaki island, Yaeyama, solo sanshin and vocal performace from probably the best of the younger musicians playing the traditional music. While an excellent CD, lacks the variety of his previous album.
Ari Nu Tu
Ohshima is the young upholder of Okinawan traditional music. Soulful voice plus sanshin, original and traditional pieces. Excellent.
YASUKATSU OSHIMA AND ORQUESTA BORE
Now , O Now I Need Must Part
Essential release. Okinawa shima uta meets horns in a compelling mix. In the same vain as Tetsuhiro Daiku or Soul Flower.
Nishi Kaji, Hai Kaji
Brilliant first album by young singer from Yaeyama. Sanshin alongside blusey slide guitar, playing traditional and original compositions.