Japanese bred artists like Hiroshima and Keiko Matsui have made an attractive blend of Eastern and Western elements work in the smooth jazz realm. Kerry Moy goes a step further on his aptly titled Noteworthy Records debut East West. Invoking the slow building atmospheric new age rock jams popularized by Tangerine Dream, the guitarist on tracks like "The Art of War" (featuring the gentle harp-like koto sounds of Hiroshima's June Kuramoto) and "Blue Samarai" explores the power of electric guitar-oriented rock in a meditational setting, almost as if Led Zeppelin dropped in at a Zen-Buddhist service and then the disciples all got up and danced. On the eight minute opening track "Ming Dynasty," Moy-who is Chinese-layers a swirling mix of classical guitar, wordless vocal chanting by Kimaya Seward and Michael Paulo's silky soprano sax and flute over a throbbing hip-hop groove. Though the mystical, new agey elements dominate, Moy and Paulo (who co-produced) have pop foremost on their minds on the laid back "The Peaceful Warrior," which features a casual acoustic guitar-alto call and response conversation throughout. The genre is better known for its accessiblity than spirituality, and it's inspiring to see how Moy integrates the two so seamlessly.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran