Rinsho Kadekaru: Katayabira Shimauta Dan
Katayabira Shimauta Dan ~ Kadekaru Rinsho no Sekai ~ (The World of Rinsho Kadekaru Vol.1) – is one of ten new CD releases featuring recordings of Okinawan music from the 1970s. The Kadekaru release is the first of four CDs by him while the rest of the series offers compilations of other Okinawan musicians from the 70s. There are some studio recordings but most are live performances and all of them were originally produced by Rou Takenaka.
This first CD is a live performance which took place on the 28th August 1974 at Osaka Festival Hall and was part of the original ‘Ryukyu Festival: Katayabira Shimauta’. It was previously released as an LP at the end of that year. Kadekaru is accompanied by his son Rinji and by musicians such as the young Sadao China and Tetsuhiro Daiko. The festival was compered by Rinsuke Teruya.
Among the familiar songs are ‘Nakuni’, ‘Jidai no Nagare’, and ‘Umi no Chinbora’. On the plus side, the recordings are very good and are a fine addition to the already overflowing catalogue of Kadekaru’s work which has been made available since his death. On the other hand, the length of the CD is only a miserly 34 minutes.
At a time when Japanese album releases are frequently crammed with extras, outtakes and bonus tracks (many of them more than twice this length) it seems a pity that the Kadekaru recordings couldn’t have been combined on fewer CDs thus making it a much less expensive business for the buyer. That said, there can be no complaints of the quality shown here by arguably the greatest of all traditional singers and sanshin players to emerge from these islands.
Katayabira Shimauta Dan is released by Columbia.