FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Yesterday in Music – Feb 21, 1980 – Trumpeter Takuya Kuroda was born!!

About the same time that the Safari discovered Aynsley Lister, I also discovered the music of Japanese-born trumpet player Takuya Kuroda.That was several days ago, and yesterday Takuya celebrated his 34th birthday. While I had listened to a little of his latest album Rising Son, when I first heard about his music, but today I listened to the full album and it was a treat!!

Kuroda grew up in Kobe, Japan and arrived in the US in 2000. While living in Kobe he played in various high school jazz bands, but he didn’t receive his first formal jazz training until he attended the Berklee College of Music. After studying at Berklee, Takuya was ready to take on New York City. In 2006 he graduated from The New School’s Jazz & Contemporary Music program. While he was in that program  he met jazz vocalist Jose James. For the last several years,Takuya has been a member of James’ backing band. James says this about Takuya’s music:

No one sounds like Takuya. His tone, warmth and most of all his stroytelling have inspired me for years. His writing is soulful, modern, and effortlessly bridges the gap between jazz and soul and between history and tomorrow

In addition to his work with James,you can also hear Takuya’s trumpet on Jiro Yoshida’s albums Cut Back and Made In New York, as well as Sony Japan J- Pop artist JuJu’s albums Wonderful Life and My Life, for whom he also arranged the horn parts. And if that’s not enough he also performs/records his original works with Chicken Gravy, a jazz/soul/funk band that he co-leads. 

Rising Son is Takuya’s debut album on Blue Note Records. Prior to this release he had released three self-produced albums of his music. On this debut album Jose James let Takuya led his band, while James took over production duties. The musicians surrounding Takuya include: keyboardist Kris Bowers,electric bassist Soloman Doby, drummer Nate Smith and trombonist Corey King.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Takuya I hope you had a great day!! And let’s go “into the night” with two tracks from Rising Son