1999 marked 20 years since the band's unique combination of distinctively Japanese elements -- June Kuramoto's classical-flavored koto, Johnny Mori's booming Taiko drum -- with funky pop, urban, and jazz sensibilities first hit the instrumental music charts, and 25 years since saxophonist and East L.A. native Dan Kuramoto first formed the ensemble. Their Windham Hill Jazz debut (and 11th release overall) Between Black and White finds them once again blending contemporary root music, mystical Eastern exotica, and melodically rich smooth jazz that further deepens their larger commitment to global unity on the cusp of the new millennium. Hiroshima once again dares to push the envelope and engage diversity from track to track. The mix of dreamy koto and keyboard mysticism and thick hip-hop grooves and soulful sax on "Mix Plate" sets the tone for the whole project on the instrumental side. Hiroshima has worked with some great vocalists over the years, and Terry Steele -- who wrote Luther Vandross' signature smash "Here and Now" -- adds to the litany with his cool, romantic approach to "The Door Is Open."
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran