Exposé Online banner

Minoke? — Sangaky
(Vital Records VR-027, 2007, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01

Sangaky Cover art

This is the follow up to this Japanese quartet’s impressive 2003 debut, Taneshina. The jazz approach seen on the debut is carried forward here, though this time even more non-jazz references and influences creep into the pieces. As a jazz combo these musicians (drummer / percussionist Katsunori Takahashi, bassist Yasushi Kawaguchi, reeds player Kosei Kayama, and keyboard player Kunihiko Sekido) are well schooled and proficient on their instruments, though somewhat clinical in their execution. Where they shine is pushing the boundaries of traditional jazz and fortunately for the listener this album abounds with examples. The opener “Minokecak” wastes no time setting the pace with an exotic percussion and vocal chant that borrows from Southeast Asian sources, while the next track, “Mari,” reveals a band that can easily deliver a killer rock attack. “Til_na_nog” from the first album is reprised and again it takes the listener through an interesting blend of Irish jigs and reels and tasty fusion. The band excels in jazz that gets the head moving and the foot tapping, though this should come as no surprise given that drummer Takahashi gets the lion’s share of the composer’s credits with bassist Kawaguchi in second place. The kind of unison interplay and syncopation in pieces like “Olmeca” will put a smile on any fusion freak’s mug. The album even ends with what sounds like a bonafide jazz-pop hit, “Tri-Band-Boom Part 2” and closes the book on a great CD that will have many fusion fans hitting the repeat button.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Minoke?

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amygdala - Complex Combat – It’s been a few years since Amygdala’s eponymous debut, a complex, powerful and high-energy opening statement if there ever was one; and as strong as it was, its main weakness was the fact that...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues