Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Essential Kitaro (Bonus Dvd)
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
More than just another KITARO compilation. Die-hard fans sho
Jeffery K. Matheus | Indianapolis, IN United States | 03/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first read that Kitaro was following his excellent new 2006 album, "Spiritual Garden", with yet another compilation album, I must admit, all I could think was..."why"? Think about it - there have already been two volumes titled "the Best of Kitaro", plus "The Best of Ten Years" (re-recordings of pieces from Kitaro's first decade in music), "The Best of the Grammy Awards" (a double-CD collection of Kitaro's Grammy winning works), "The Best of Silk Road" (a collection of pieces from the popular "Silk Road" album series), as well as several other compilations, of varying quality, that have been released specifically for the Japanese market...While you'd be hard-pressed to find a more devoted Kitaro fan than myself, even I have to wonder why yet ANOTHER compilation album is really needed at this point...Well, thankfully "The Essential Kitaro" is more than just another "Best of" compilation CD. It's actually a two disc set; one a CD, and one a DVD. Both dics are pretty impressive - although it's the DVD of (mostly) previously unreleased concert footage that will be of supreme interest to the die-hard Kitaro fan. The 60 minute DVD begins with "Silk Road Theme" & "Dance of Sarasvati", both recorded live in Spain during 1999's "Thinking of You" tour. Long-time fans will notice some familiar faces from the "Enchanted Evening" video among the master's backing band - namely guitarist Angus Clark, keyboardist Diana Dentino and percussionist Derek Zimmerman. The passion that these musicians bring to Kitaro's music is obvious, and they function like a well-oiled machine. The version of "Sarasvati" found here is particularly brilliant, featuring a beefed-up arrangement highlighted by some electric sitar playing from Clark, and a wailing, nimble-fingered synthesizer solo from Kitaro! Next up, "Estrella" is the one clip on the DVD that we have seen before, taken from 2002's "Live in Yakushiji" DVD. This is, however, an absolute CLASSIC take on this piece, featuring some spontanious & inspired synth leads from Kitaro, beautiful violin work from Yavoi Sakiyama, and a longer running-length than the studio version. Next comes a majestic, moving version of "Koi", taken from a 2004 concert in China. Among the 6-piece backing band I spotted keyboardist Shinji Ebihara and Kitaro's wife, Kieko Takahashi (both of whom were also featured on the earlier "Yakushiji" concert), but it is the uncredited young Asian guitarist who really steals the show during the song's dramatic climax! Although it is also credited as being from "China 2004", the DVD's closing track, "Mercury", is obviously taken from a completely different show/venue. In fact, this one appears to have been filmed inside a Buddhist Temple, with no audience to speak of save for some monks that can occassionally be seen walking about in the background! For this one Kitaro puts aside the synthesizers and solos on a Native American wood flute, joined only by Keiko on keyboards and Tu Shan Xiang on a Pipa (a rather unusual-sounding Asian stringed-instrument) It's a beautiful take on this piece (first heard on Kitaro's exceptional Grammy-winning CD "Thinking of You"), and helps to give the DVD to a meditative, eligiac ending...My hope is that Domo Records will eventually release the Spanish and Chinese concerts in their entirety. It's great having these few isolated tracks. But with sound, picture, and performance quality this fantasic, it's sad to think that there are several more hours of GREAT live Kitaro footage sitting in a vault somewhere, unreleased!...As for CD, the track listing is a bit surprizing in that some of Kitaro's most well-known works are missing (i.e. - "Caravansary", "Heaven & Earth", "Kokoro".) Aside from a few familiar 80s/90s "classics", the track listing is weighed more heavily towards recent album tracks (taken from "The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai", "An Ancient Journey", "Cirque Imaginuex", etc.) Personally, I find this to be a positive thing. At a time when far too many veteran artists are resting on their laurels and living off of past glories, it's nice to see that Kitaro believes strongly in his new work. (This also helps to keep the track listing here different from all the previous compilations I've already mentioned.) I was also glad to see the inclusion of at least one track that I had not heard before; "Nagare No Naka De", a dreamy, melodic piece taken from a recent Japanses-only compilation album - as a Kitaro collector, this alone adds a bit more value for the money spent...I think the title of this collection is quite appropriate - "The ESSENTIAL Kitaro". It is not labeled as a "Greatest Hits", or even as a "Best of" (always a very innapropriate way of titling compilations, in my opinion, as what constitutes the "best" work of ANY artist is subjective and open to debate.) While I might have chosen one or two tracks a little differently myself (Why nothing from the classic "Light of the Spirit"? Or the underrated new album, "Spiritual Garden"?), I do think that this collection lives up to its name in that it captures the very ESSENCE of Kitaro's artistry, and aptly displays the many sides of his creative, compelling music. All in all, whether you are a long-time fan or a newcomer, this is a highly reccommended purchase!"
The Essential Kitaro
TMS | HK | 02/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must say that I don't like the kind of "best" or "collection" album, especially Kitaro's.
Although there is exception: the Vangelis which selected and arranged the tracks and connect them fluently, like telling a story.
I bought just because of the DVD. It contains five video of live performance.
- Silk Road (Spain 1999)
- Dance of Sarasvati (Spain 1999)
- Estrella (Daylight Moonlight Live in Yakushiji)
- Koi (China 2004)
- Mercury (China 2004)
Strangely, is not printed on the list of content of the package, but printed on the inside page. People may not know it is included.
Four of them are neither released on audio nor on video officially as I know.
They are surprising. Especially , it is in different arrangement than the one in , with an interesting instrument played by Kitaro to produce the sound of sands. And to me, the adding of electronic guitar performed by Angus Clark (the guitarist in ) is excellent.
is good also. Although it is performed over and over and over again, this one in Spain is quite different.
in China reminded me the scene I enjoyed that night, I almost forgot the stage colour changing effect and the dressing of the violinist.
is not the one in the same concert in China. The one in the concert is excellent; I hope that it will be released. This one in the DVD, is performed in a temple, with pipa played by Chinese pipa player Mr. TU SHAN XIANG, I doubt it is just a recording, no audience there.
The DVD is good. How about the CD?
Those "Essential" pieces like , and are expected.
I am quite surprised of some of the selection, which may be not melodic or entertaining, but back to why I love Kitaro's music, spiritual, meditative. < Passage of Life > in , this one is very beautiful. (I love the whole album ) in , is my love also. (Again, I love the whole album )
This CD contains some of new music like in and in .
It is good to me. Honestly I seldom listen to these 2 albums. A selection album let me listen to one or two pieces only, avoiding listening the whole album. May be I will love the whole album of the 2 ku-kai journey in the future, but not now.
Present, it is quite a good feeling to listen an album containing some new music with some favorite music."
Jon Nipp | Lubbock, TX | 12/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Performing over 30 years says a lot about any musician when most only last 3 years. That alone tells you people love Kitaro and his incredible music. This album is a collection of many of his best compositions and it includes a DVD of him and his orchestra performing live. Now the DVD is not spectacular so far as musicians dancing all over the stage, as you often see in a Yanni concert. However, it is a really nice bonus to get to see this amazing musician perform, because if you're like me you love his music but have never been to his concerts. Just one thing that's so nice about Kitaro's music is its depth. Musicians like Yanni and Enya seem to compose music which has one particular sound. Sometimes, in fact, if you listen closely, many of some songs seem to simply repeat themselves in variations of the same melody. Don't get me wrong, I like Yanni and Enya, and obviously so do millions of others, but the scope of their music is limited. Kitaro, on the other hand, composes on much grander and eclectic scales. Also, Enya has produced only a handful of albums where Kitaro has produced 26. I say all this, because Kitaro's music is something everyone who enjoys New Age music really should buy this album for themselves to listen to over and over again. You will not be disappointed. We are proud to include the music of Kitaro in our regular New Age music radio broadcast."