Jade Blue is an unusual release by Asian Improv for, rather than featuring avant-garde jazz from the San Francisco Bay Area by Asian jazz musicians (as is the label's niche), the music is much more pop-oriented with an emphasis on vocals even if some of the sidemen (most notably tenorman Francis Wong and drummer Anthony Brown) are Asian improv regulars. Keith Uchima is a folk/pop singer who stars on four numbers, Yoko Noge is versatile if quite eccentric on her four features (which include the boogie-woogie number "Otoko Nante" and "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean"), and Elijah Levi is in the spotlight on two songs. Most rewarding among the soloists is guitarist Moto Makino, though Wong also has his spots. This set is quite a departure for Asian Improv, but in reality nothing all that original or memorable occurs, just routine folk/pop/rock music with touches of jazz and blues here and there.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow