Yung-hsiang Kao

For Yung-hsiang Kao's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Tokyo Jazz 2007

/ Sep 7, 2007

Tokyo Jazz 2007

The Tokyo Jazz fest organized by NHK and Nikkei was a 2-day event when it started 5 years ago and, up until 2005, had Herbie Hancock as director. How things have changed. Like 2006’s event, this year’s festival will still be at Tokyo International ...

/ Aug 31, 2007

Marcus Miller "Free"

Brooklyn-born Marcus Miller kicks off his latest album playing the sitar, lending “Blast” an Indian groove before adopting a hip-hop beat in the chorus. It’s an early indication of Miller’s diverse musical tastes: “Free” features the noted bass guitarist playing 14 different instruments. Miller, ...

Hiromi Uehara's piano keys 'burn red'

| Aug 30, 2007

Hiromi Uehara's piano keys 'burn red'

It is easy to tell that Hiromi Uehara is a hypersensitive pianist, aware of everything around her as she performs. During one concert, a cell phone rang, and she quickly played a chord based on the ring tone to smooth over the interruption — ...

Brian Lynch and Eddie Palmieri

/ Jul 20, 2007

Brian Lynch and Eddie Palmieri

Fresh from winning the 2007 Best Latin Jazz Album Grammy for “Simpatico,” pianist Eddie Palmieri and trumpeter Brian Lynch are bringing their quartet to Japan. The group will play Blue Note Tokyo at its Roots Music Festival before continuing on to the Sapporo City ...

/ Jul 6, 2007

Ohta-san "Ukulele Bossa Nova"

The man who helped make the ukulele more than a Hawaiian curiosity continues to show listeners what the four-stringed instrument can do on his latest album. Here, Ohta-san — the stage name of 72-year-old, Honolulu-born Herb Ohta — covers Antonio Carlos Jobim songs, in ...

Takeshi Shibuya

/ Jun 22, 2007

Takeshi Shibuya

At 68, with a taste and range as diverse and eclectic as ever, Takeshi Shibuya shows no signs of slowing down. In the past week alone, Shibuya has played with his famed Takeshi Shibuya Orchestra, performed as part of a duo with a guitarist, ...

Soundtrack of the summer: Yosuke Yamashita

| Jun 21, 2007

Soundtrack of the summer: Yosuke Yamashita

Known for almost 40 years for his bass-less, eponymous trio and half that time for his New York Trio, pianist Yosuke Yamashita offers listeners a change by bringing his New Quartet to Noto. Yamashita, 67, will play with bassist Akira Yanagihara, alto saxophonist Yuya ...

/ Jun 15, 2007

Hikari Ichihara "Stardust"

If you are looking for a way into the music of trumpeter Hikari Ichihara, forget the techno-jazz pop of her synthesizer-heavy debut of originals or even her second album, “Sara Smile,” in which she delved into standards, and start with “Stardust,” her latest solo ...

/ Jun 8, 2007

Michael Brecker "Pilgrimage"

Tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker assembled some of his friends and favorite players on “Pilgrimage,” his last album recorded shortly before dying of leukemia in January this year. Though in ailing health during recording, the compositions (in a first for one of his albums, all ...