Kazumi Watanabe


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A textbook study of what hard-edged fusion should be all about, Watanabe's strings come to life with a supercharged electricity that is often interesting, often harsh, and once in a while pleasant and melodic. Watanabe seems to favor soloing in the hard rocker vein but also gets in some nice moments on more gentle moody pieces like "Pretty Soon" and "Dolphin Dance." Especially engaging are the electric vibe work of John Wackerman and Wayne Shorter's solid sax on "Capri." For those into melodic pop-jazz, this disc should be approached with caution. If you love hefty guitar licks, however, it's a must.

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