Rinsho Kadekaru: Narufon Zenkyoku

Yes, it’s yet another ‘new’ album from the late Rinsho Kadekaru who was widely known as the godfather of Okinawan minyo. Earlier this year saw the CD release of a concert from 1974. This time it’s a double album of studio recordings collected by Okinawa’s Campus Records.

The two CDs contain a total of 32 tracks and include many of the songs for which Kadekaru was famed. So among many others there are versions of ‘Nakuni’, ‘Kaisare’, ‘Umi nu Chinbora’ and his own poignant ‘Jidai no Nagare’. Kadekaru is in good form throughout and most of the recordings feature just the man and his sanshin though he is also joined by taiko on some tracks.

Kadekaru

The CDs come with an introductory essay by Yasukatsu Oshima who is himself one of the many singers inspired by Kadekaru and it’s fitting that he should write about his appreciation of the great man. Unfortunately, the booklet has no details of the other musicians or any of the recording dates. However, twelve of the fifteen tracks on CD2 seem to be the same as those which made up the album Heisei no Kadekaru Rinsho also released by Campus a few years ago.

This is far from being the definitive collection but is still a very useful addition to the large catalogue of recordings of this important singer and musician whose legacy lives on. The album title refers to the Narufon label which is part of Campus Records.

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