Two sweet sets from Hiroshima – back to back on a single CD! First up is the self-titled first album from Hiroshima – a group who took the 70s experiments in Japanese fusion right into the American mainstream – with a wonderful blend of jazz
and soul, and a production style that was never too polished or commercial! The group's led by reedman Dan Kuramota – who plays both sax and flutes, including a bit of Japanese wooden flute – which gives the record a few slight "Eastern" touches a times, although the overall vibe is strongly in the best soulful fusion of the period! In keeping with that approach, there's a bit of vocals on the record – sung in English with a soulful vibe – on titles that include "Lion Dance", "Da Da", "Taiko Song", "Holidays", "Never Ever", and "Kokoro". Odori is a wicked blend of jazz
and soul from Hiroshima – a group who've got the smooth blend of styles we love in some of the import-only fusion dates that were coming from Japan in the late 70s! The group's got a few light touches that emphasize their Pacific
roots – including light flute lines and touches of koto and shamisen, but often used in more subtle ways than on earlier Japanese albums that mixed these rootsy elements with jazz
– and the overall vibe here is one that's got plenty of appeal to fans of crossover fusion from the time, especially the kind with a strong current of soul! There's a bit of vocals on the record, too – and titles include "Winds Of Change", "Odori", "Echoes", "Cruisin J-Town", "Fortune Teller", and "Shinto".