Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Kaizen Neptune|
Genres: World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
Listen to Samples
Shakuhachi by Heart
tomiom | San Rafael, CA USA | 12/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Kaizan Neptune is not only a master of the shakuhachi, he is also an innovator for this traditional Japanese instrument. The Asian Roots of the title refer not only to the construction of the shakuhachi--formed from the root end of a bamboo culm-- but also to his extending the repertoire of this largely traditional instrument to Asian countries outside of Japan. Neptune works with a palette of sound created by bamboo instruments, many of them created by himself, such as the Uduboo, a version of an African drum made from bamboo (Track 8). If you want to go beyond "Sakura" (although Neptune plays a fabulous jazz version of this on another CD), Asian Roots will not disappoint. Particular favorites include the Indonesian sounds of Jegoging (Track 3) and Java (Track 4). . . and while you're at it, try out Five Nodes (Track 7), and just keep going. Neptune's interpretations of traditional music are largely influenced by jazz and his very creative imagination. Until now, I have always hated the mouth harp; however, after hearing Neptune's mystical twangings on this instrument, I changed my mind. In short, Neptune is the consummate musician/composer for the shakuhachi and other bamboo instruments. When he plays the shakuhachi, it sounds like a shakuhachi--not like a flute. This may seem a profound statement, but when Westerners play the shakuhachi it often ends up sounding like a flute. Now, after all these fine words, you might think I am Neptune's mother, sister, wife or girlfriend. I am none of these. I have had the good fortune of living in Japan for eight years and during that time, had the pleasure of seeing him perform live, as well as reading about him in the Japanese newspapers. I would rate Neptune among my top-five-favorite-unfamous musicians. I think after hearing him, you will too."
Beautifully Played and Written....Not For everyone
Paul K. Ross | Seattle, WA | 06/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is very well executed by the musicians, but if you are not prepared for shakuhachi and bamboo percussion for an entire album it is not for you. Traditional shakuhachi pieces are not easily appreciated by Western ears, and if you are searching for shakuhachi in an easy to appreciate form this CD is good but not the best. I think that Kazu Matsui's CD "Bamboo" is a better choice for appreciating the shakuhachi.
Neptune is a masterful player and has a wonderful warm tone on the shakuhachi, and sometimes a great big reedy sound that I have heard from very few shakuhachi players. This album is kind of a "soft jazz" interpretation of bambo instruments and accomplishes that with great skill."
Neptune is better than this
Dr. Debra Jan Bibel | Oakland, CA USA | 07/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen John Kaizan Neptune in concert and this recording is below his standards. He can swing with jazz, even better than in his CD "JazZen", and he perform classical shakuhachi works with flare, hinted at in his duet with koto in the CD "Prime Numbers". Unfortunately, he can also plunge into banal, New Age improvisations also. "Asian Roots" is light weight. More interesting percussion may be found with Yas-Kaz's works of the 1980s. I suggest you pass on this recording and explore many of Neptune's other works."