Exposé Online banner

KBB — Live 2004
(Musea FGBG 4598.AR, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Live 2004 Cover artGuitarists may get the lion’s share of attention in fusion and prog, but there have always been leaders on other instruments. For violin, the story probably starts with Jean-Luc Ponty, and we can all probably name a few others. Add to that list Akihisa Tsuboy if you haven’t already. He fronts this Japanese quartet, backed by keyboards, bass and drums, and his playing is the primary focus of the band. He covers a range of tones, from relatively natural to highly effected with wah-wah, chorus, and echo. He has the technical skills to hold his own without a guitarist as a foil, building his solos up to frenetic peaks sure to please any fusion fan. The generally lengthy tunes (from six to thirteen minutes) allow lots of room to stretch out, though they are not built entirely on indulgent soloing, instead featuring a variety of sections and contrasting moods. The seven tracks cover the band’s first two albums, plus one new tune, “Inner Flames,” which is my favorite of the set, with a great bass line recurring for sections throughout, some stellar keyboard work on organ, synth, and electric piano, and a wild violin solo. The only real flaw of the music is that sometimes they briefly succumb to the beauty of their own melodies and lapse into near-New-Age territory, but those moments are brief and not egregious enough to seriously mar this great release.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): KBB, Tsuboy Akihisa

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Asturias - Cryptogam Illusion – The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and composer Yoh Ohyama, Asturias has a sound that could be called an instrumental symphonic fusion (in the vein of Kenso, Happy the Man, Pekka Pohjola or...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues