Tak Shindo

Accent on Bamboo

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The follow-up to Tak Shindo's breakthrough Brass and Bamboo minimizes the Japanese musical elements that are the record's supposed selling point, instead favoring inventive but largely straightforward big-band arrangements rooted firmly in the conventions of the idiom: even the liner notes promise "this well-arranged meeting of East and West is a swinging thing, and Oriental too -- but scrutable." While standards like "One Fine Day" and "Festival in Springtime" incorporate traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and the ondo to lovely effect, Shindo largely sidesteps kitsch, favoring bold, dynamic jazz with few traces of non-Western elements -- the irony is that Accent on Bamboo was marketed, collected, and experienced as exotica, as though any music created by a Japanese-American should automatically fall within the genre's classifications.