Takuya Kuroda - trumpet (+ more) / Corey King - trombone, vocals / Craig Hill - tenor sax / Tomoaki Baba - tenor sax / Takeshi Ohbayashi & Chris McCarthy - keyboard / Rashaan Carter & Burniss Earl Travis II - bass / Adam Jackson & Zach Mullings - drums / Takahiro Izumikawa, Saotoshi Yoshida & Ryo Ogihara - guitar / (and several more artists)
Recorded: Bunker Studios, Brooklyn NY
First Word Records; 2020
I was a tad skeptical of this at first, despite the fact that I am a huge fan of his 2014 album, Rising Son. The weeks that went by without me listening to this album are, sadly, weeks I'll never get back. Some of the reviews hinted at Fly Moon Die Soon being a bit of a Jazz/Hip Hop fusion album with more of a "studio sound" showing through. To me, it implied danger... a possible softness or soullessness. I was wrong.
I'll agree that Rising Son may have a more organic sound, especially with the support of mister-smooth José James, but the new LP is no slouch. The cover of the Ohio Player's "Sweet Sticky Thing" will satisfy any need for an organic, soul groover right off the bat. Side two delivers plenty of tracks that would fit seamlessly on Rising Son, not that it was their intention to do so. And then there is more... modern electronic splashes. Not quite in the mode of London-sters, like Kamaal Williams, nor Angelinos, like Thundercat or Kamasi Washington, but every bit the equal.
Takuya Kuroda is becoming quite a force. He hails from Hyogo Prefecture, just outside of Osaka, Japan. He took up music at an early age and built his chops playing jam sessions in Osaka and Kobe, before heading off to the Berklee College of Music and eventually winding up right here in Brooklyn. It seems like the perfect trajectory to me.