Minyo Crusaders / オブ・ジャパン

August 14, 2019


Mais Um Minyo Crusaders: Echoes Of Japan (2019****

miniature LP CD/LP


I love very much combinations of styles which blend together well, respecting old and new traditions and mixing them in this case for pleasure only. This Japanese 10-piece band from Tokyo succeeds to deliver a strong sound of entertainment with exotic flavours and live band power. Recommended mixture of historic Japanese folk songs (min'yō) with Cumbia, Afro, Reggae, Beguine, Bolero, Ethiopian Groove, Afro·funk, Boogaloo and Latin rhythms, with an authentic feeling for it mixed with a bit of brass and jazzy keyboards. Great album!


“These bands introduced what was then the latest dance music to Japan, whether it was Latin or jazz or foxtrot,” Katsumi Tanaka says. “And they extended their arrangements to minyō as well. That’s where we’re coming from.”


Tanaka met Tsukamoto playing in a session band where the latter was singing soul. Aware that Freddie’s true passion was minyō, Tanaka asked him to form a band to revive this style. They invited other musicians such as local drumming legend Sono and a turning point came when bassist Daddy U, a veteran of the Tokyo roots music scene and the respected Ska Flames, joined. Through him they met keyboard player Moe, the leader of spiritual Caribbean jazz band Kidlat; sax player KoichiroOsawa, a member of Japanese-reggae/ska groups Matt Sounds and J.J. Session and regular pick-up for reggae musicians visiting Japan; trumpeter Yamauchi Stephan, also a member of J.J. Session; percussionist Mutsumi Kobayashi of Tokyo’s cumbia Banda de la Mumbia; Irochi, conga player with Afro Cuban band Cubatumb and vocalist Meg, a member of respected tropical DJ collective Tokyo Sabroso. 






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