by Hiroko KokubuHiroko Kokubu


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Often on instrumental releases, the listing of a well-worn pop standard like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" would mean yet another watered down elevator music take. But pianist Hiroko Kokubu's multi-genre, take-the-basic-chords-and-run approach epitomizes the free-for-all spirit of Bridge. A thick, machine generated funk groove and Tom Coster's Hammond B-3 forms a rock-blues base upon which Kokubu's wild, aggressively pounding improvisational twists bend the melody so far out of its usual shape, that she should almost get co-writing credit. She fuses many influences on her own tunes as well, most notably "Keep Home Alive," which rolls along as a lively samba with slower, thoughtful interludes before breaking for a flamenco guitar-led, hand clapping waltz. Then it returns to the samba groove but this time adds a jazz trio flavor and a splash of funk. Playing the melody on the harmonica soundalike instrument piannica, she enhances the next samba with thicker percussion and Andy Narell's always reliable steel pans. These remarkable tunes are so richly textured that the easy, mid-tempo smooth jazz tracks and the introspective, Eastern-flavored ballads - which are certainly pleasant enough - come off as a bit of a letdown.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/16/1998
Label: Jvc / Xrcd
UPC: 0693692005226
catalogNumber: 52
Rank: 99102

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hiroko Kokubu   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Synthesizer Strings,Pianicca
Tom Coster   Synthesizer,Percussion,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass,Synthesizer Percussion,Log Drums,Synthesizer Strings
Andy Narell   Steel Pan
Alex Acuña   Percussion,Cymbals,Drums,Vocals,Hand Clapping
Gary Herbig   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Flute,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Vocals,Hand Clapping
Abraham Laboriel   Electric Bass,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Fretless Bass Guitar
Ramon Stagnaro   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Hand Clapping
Greg Adams   Flugelhorn

Technical Credits

Tom Coster   Arranger,Programming,String Arrangements,drum programming,Loop,Percussion Programming
Hiroko Kokubu   Arranger
Don Murray   Engineer
Akira Taguchi   Producer
F. Ron Miller   Art Direction
Tomoko Miura   Visual Coordinator

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