Akira Jimbo


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Like Dave Weckl, Jimbo is a drummer who's more than happy to provide the backbeat while top-of-the-line musical cohorts play some astoundingly attractive melodic lines before him. He may be Japanese, but his compositions edge towards that tasty, light salsa flavor blended for good measure with some perky tropicality. All this and healthy doses of tender fusiony pop-jazz add up to a rousing collection. Palette's not all gravy, though; three of the four superfluous vocal cuts have a cloying, Yutaka-like sheen about them despite their attempts to further indulge us in the island atmosphere. And though the instrumentals are all on target, it might be nice to hear more of Jimbo's chops once in a while. Helping the cause to great effect are L.A. hipsters like Freddie Washington, Eric Marienthal, Grant Geissman, and Steve Reid. Hammer Smith's bluesy harmonica is a treat as well.

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