Tak Shindo

Far East Goes Western

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With Far East Goes Western, arranger Tak Shindo flips the script on the exotica idiom, interpreting vintage Hollywood cowboy ballads via the traditional instruments of Japan. Shindo's evocative arrangements completely transform dust-caked campfire classics like "(I Got Spurs) That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," replacing the familiar guitars, banjos, and fiddles with koto, samisen, temple gongs, and bamboo flutes -- it's to his immense credit that the end result is neither silly nor hokey but in fact strangely beautiful, not to mention an ingenious commentary on the exotica vogue.

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