Joji Hirota / Joji Hirota & The Taiko Drummers

Japanese Taiko

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Among a run of other Arc albums involving Joji Hirota in the last year or so, Japanese Taiko takes a crack at one of the more stereotypical of Japanese sounds. Hirota is a master of Japanese music, but something of a jack-of-all-trades, and a multi-instrumentalist. The result of this is that his music on the taiko is more adventurous than some specialist groups, but also perhaps somewhat less tightly executed in places. Here, Hirota takes a mostly traditional format, but makes use of a large number of drums throughout the course of a given work. The rest of the ensemble will provide much of the stability of a piece here, as Joji explores the sonic possibilities of having a range of drums to play with. That said, there's plenty of traditional, powerful taiko to be heard here, too. This is some excellent playing by the Taiko Drummers. It's perhaps not quite of the caliber or excitement of the ├╝ber-stars Kodo, but it's a sweet pounding nonetheless.

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