Motohiko Hino

It's There

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Drummer Motohiko Hino and his notable sidemen (which include either John Scofield or Mike Stern on guitars and guest spots for Dave Liebman on soprano and trumpeter Terumasa Hino) perform four of his originals plus five rock songs by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The generally rockish material does not seem to have much potential but the two guitarists (who are both on "The Rain Song" and otherwise take turns) create consistently interesting solos. Although organist Karen Mantler does little more than set an atmosphere with long tones (making one wonder if she is ready for prime time yet), bassist Steve Swallow works well with the drummer/leader. It takes about three listens to get into this music but the set does reward the time invested. The material is uplifted and the solos are generally quite colorful and stimulating, making this an unlikely success worth checking out by open-minded listeners.

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