JazzTimes - p.116
"[C]hallenging and engaging....The new CD makes a compelling, positive statement with its fusion of jazz, pop, rock and Far East elements."
Hiroshima (Jazz Group): June Kuramoto (koto); Dan Kuramoto (alto saxophone); Kimo Cornwell (piano); Dean Cortez (bass instrument); Danny Yamamoto (drum); Shoji Kameda (percussion).
Personnel: Richie Gajate Garcia (conga drum).
Additional personnel: Leslie Chew (guitar); Karen Hwa-Chee Han (erhu); James Lloyd (keyboards); Dean Taba (acoustic bass); Kenny Endo, Richie Gajate Garcia (percussion); Mary Garcia (unknown instrument).
Little Tokyo is Hiroshima's brilliant musical reference to the importance of maintaining a positive, multicultural world view in the midst of international and intercultural tensions. The group has often used this type of subject matter and symbolism in their songs to convey the feelings and moods which have been inspired by current events, places, and people. The 11 songs span several musical styles including sensibilities inherent in Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Asian music. "Midnight Sun" spotlights the work of Shoji Kameda and Kenny Endo. The taiko drum masters complement each other as they underscore June Kuramoto's lovely koto work and Dan Kuramoto's exotic saxophone lines that exude a mysteriously melodic feeling. Guest keyboardist and labelmate James K. Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream sits in on the catchy tune titled "Lanai." The song includes plenty of spirited accompaniment and passionate lyricism from the Kuramotos. The syncopated closer, "Little Tokyo Underground," is Hiroshima's tip of the hat to the funk-jazz crowd. The funky grooves coupled with the adventurous shades of contemporary jazz adds yet another dimension to this artistic array of musical compositions. ~ Paula Edelstein