The title of this album (Kurokami) refers to a traditional classical Japanese composition with that name (also the second song on the CD), meaning black hair (referring to the beautiful long dark hair of Japanese ladies). Clive Bell plays the shakuhachi while Rié Yanagisawa plays the koto, the shamisen, and sings. This CD offers us traditional and modern pieces, the arrangement of a known folk song, as well as a shakuhachi improvisation by Bell. The two modern pieces, "Haru No Umi" and "Aki No Shirabe," were written by Michio Miyagi. Japanese music has a very slow pace, peaceful and, as some might say, deeply meditative. Both Bell and Yanagisawa convey admirably this meditative profundity with charm and grace.
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AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes