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Tak Matsumoto - Hana
Favored Nations
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2003-05-29
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Artist: Tak Matsumoto
Title: Hana
Label: Favored Nations (www.favorednations.com)
Genre: Rock/Instrumental, Fusion, Jazz, Blues, Rock

Tak Matsumoto’s (short for Takashi ) album Hana reminded me at times of some of the Japanese import releases the Ventures put out in the ‘90’s (they have sold more records in Japan than in the U.S.). It has that distinctive Japanese instrumental rock-pop sound that you could recognize playing anywhere, although none of it sounds like pop music, because the principle of the entire album is a diverse fusion approach. It sounds contradictory, but you have to hear the music to understand where I am coming from.

There are times when Tak sounds and plays as if he is right on the edge of cutting loose into some major shredding, like on the bonus track "Trinity," on the contrary he then plays laid back acoustic new age-jazz-rock with an oriental flavor on the title track "Hana," or straight out contemporary jazz on "2011." It is a mixed bag to be sure.

Matsumoto is in effect all over the musical map, his guitar speaks loud and clear so the addition of vocals would not be a factor any way you look at it. To add to his vast range of style and genre treatment, he gives his personal nod to the late great Jimi Hendrix on "Little Wing." It only seems appropriate that he do so considering he is such an adept versatile player. The fact that Hendrix has probably influenced anyone that has ever picked up a guitar is reason enough too.

The bottom line is there is something here for everyone to enjoy, particularly if you like listening to instrumental music. I loved it, and I will look forward to many more listens in the future to this treasure chest of musical enthrallment.

1. Koi-Uta - 4:08
2. #1090 - Asian Sun - 3:53
3. Hana - 5:42
4. Machi - 4:27
5. Blue - Midousuji Blue - 3:42
6. Red Sky - 4:35
7. Little Wing - 3:28
8. Romeo & Juliet - 4:34
9. Hallelujah - 1:15
10. Engaged - 4:43
11. You Know.... - 4:38
12. 2011 - 1:35
13. Trinity * Bonus Track - 3:42

Credits:
Steve Vai - Mixing
Takashi Matsumoto - Guitar, Arranger, Producer


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