Kazutoshi Matsuda: Uta Shami

Kazutoshi Matsuda’s fourth album Uta Shami is his first since Nuchi Nu Hana two years ago. The previous album was a mix of original songs by Matsuda and well-known shimauta and its stripped down approach produced some outstanding recordings from this likeable and talented singer and sanshin player. Now he goes deeper into his roots with an album which reaches the heart of Okinawan traditions in its sound.

Matsuda accompanies himself on sanshin as usual but this time has just the minimum of help from other musicians. The album opens with a traditional instrumental piece ‘Watarizou~Tachiutoshi’ followed by seven songs before two final eisa tracks wrap things up. Not all of the album’s songs are traditional and one of the best tracks is ‘Amitou Kajitou Chichitou’ a song by Hirokazu Matsuda.

matsuda kazutoshi

For the eisa tracks he is joined by the Chatan-cho Jagaru Seinenkai. Eisa is Matsuda’s most familiar territory and he has a long background in this style like his friend and contemporary Toru Yonaha. However, Matsuda’s singing and playing on the songs which go before is so good that it comes as a slight disappointment that after just a handful of these he ends up with an extended eisa workout. This is something he has done before but which works more effectively in live performance. On the other hand, Uta Shami does a very good job of displaying the many facets of Okinawan roots music with which he grew up.

The album was produced by Matsuda and the notes for the album were written by singer Mika Uchizato who has worked with Matsuda several times before. She brought him on stage as special guest in her concert last year on her return to Okinawa following the release of her own first album for several years.

Kazutoshi Matsuda will tour mainland Japan in January 2016 and will perform live in Kyoto, Nagoya, Kanagawa and Tokyo. The tour ends in Okinawa on 28th January at Kitchen Hana-Gasa in Ginowan.

Uta Shami is released by Campus Records.







Explore posts in the same categories: Okinawan Albums

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