Minyo Crusaders - Echoes Of Japan
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Out 26th April 2019
Minyo Crusaders rework historic Japanese folk songs (min'yō) with Latin, African, Caribbean and Asian rhythms for their debut album “Echoes of Japan”.
Releases from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono and Midori Takada have re-ignited global interest in Japanese music and “Echoes of Japan” marks the arrival of a big band like no other.
“For Japanese people, min'yō is both the closest, and most distant, folk music” explains band-leader Katsumi Tanaka: “We may not feel it in our daily, urban lives, yet the melodies, the style of singing and the rhythm of the taiko drums are engrained in our DNA”. Initially indifferent to min'yō, a tragic event in recent Japanese history set Tanaka on his current path: “Following the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, I reflected on my life, work and identity. A fan of world music, I began searching for Japanese roots music I could identify with. Discovering mid-late 20th century acts Hibari Misora, Chiemi Eri and the Tokyo Cuban Boys, I was
captivated by their eccentric arrangements and how they mixed min'yō with Latin and jazz.”
Originally sung by fishermen (Kushimoto Bushi; Mamurogawa Ondo), coal miners (Tanko Bushi) and sumo wrestlers (Sumo Jinku), these songs deal with topics such as the returning spirits of ancestors (Hohai Bushi), Japan’s smallest bird (Toichin Bushi) and a bride’s love for her husband’s pockmarked face Otemoyan).
A1. Kushimoto Bushi (Cumbia)
A2. Hohai Bushi (Afro)
A3. Otemoyan (Reggae)
B1. Mamurogawa Ondo (Beguine)
B2. Yasugi Bushi (Bolero)
C1. Akita Nikata Bushi (Ethiopian Groove)
C2. Toichin Bushi (Afro·funk)
D1. Tanko Bushi (Boogaloo)
D2. Aizu Bandaisan (Latin)