Boomkat Product Review:
Making their debut on European shores, this Japanese jazz outfit have scored themselves a release on Sonar Kollektiv. The Tokyo-based quartet channel an easy-going blend of world jazz influences, with a particular emphasis placed on Latin and salsa rhythms. You might forgive them the tawdry spoken-word waffle that sabotages 'Over The Horizon' given the classic swingtime brass and percussion of 'The Man From Nagpur', sounding like a far bigger band (indeed, a 'big band', if you will) were responsible for its sprightly charms. These guys are situated firmly at the most accessible end of the jazz universe: there's nothing bewilderingly psychedelic or freeform about the kind of sounds these guys trade in. Ironically, that's probably what's going to limit their appeal. Musically the band are highly accomplished and able to switch between various styles from song to song, but mediocrity threatens to undo all their good work at every turn, largely due to the hackneyed lyrics and dubious scats that interfere with a number of songs. All that said there's plenty to recommend the instrumental sequences on this album, particularly for those of you who are fatigued by the more confrontational, challenging material in the jazz marketplace.