KBB - Four Corner's Sky

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Musea
Catalog Number: FGBG 4501.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:24:00

If I can't say anything else about 2003, then I must say that this year has been an eye-opener (or maybe I should say ear-opener) for me. In 2003, my musical horizons have broadened immensely, thanks to the tremendous amount of absolutely great progressive rock being released by the armadas of supremely talented artists, both well-known and newcomers, from around the world. My biggest challenge, as PW's "lay listener? (i.e., consumer) reviewer, has been to not hand out "5/5? reviews to almost every CD I hear; believe me, I would if I could! That said, some releases are just so good that perfect marks are compulsory, which brings me to this month's co-winner (alongside Neal Morse's fabulous Testimony) of the coveted (yeah, right) "Dave's Fave? award, Four Corner's Sky by KBB.

KBB, now in its second incarnation, is a marvelously talented quartet from Japan, headed up by violin virtuoso Akihisa Tsuboy. Tsuboy's passion, both as a musician and composer, is completely infused throughout KBB's music and serves as the inspirational flame that fires the performances of his bandmates. On Four Corner's Sky, KBB serves up seven helpings of tasty jazz-rock fusion that will give fans fits of déjà vu for the genre's halcyon days and have them digging up those worn out copies of Where Have I Known You Before, Imaginary Voyage, and Inner Mounting Flame for a few more spins.

"Discontinuous Spiral? is a heady opener, resembling a derivation of Jean-Luc Ponty's "Imaginary Voyage? suite, compressed into just seven minutes. Tsuboy's melodies (including a re-worked Irish jig) are breathtaking, as are the Corea-style Rhodes and synthesizer stylings of keyboardist Takahashi. The aptly-titled "Kraken's Brain Is Blasting? follows, a minor key romp that pits Tsuboy's violins against Dani's guitars and effectively conjures up the image of a monster with a migraine. Imagine "La Villa Strangiato? by way of UK and Return to Forever and you're almost in the ballpark! "Horobi No Kawa? slows the pace and allows Tsuboy to stretch out in some excellent duos, both with himself and bassist Dani, played over a sweetly Oriental piano melody. Drummer Shirou Sugano contributes "Backside Edge," a speedy jazz piece reminiscent of Ponty, Herbie Hancock and RTF in which all of KBB takes a turn in the solo spotlight. Takahashi's Hammond B3 opens "Slave Nature," which combines touches of Deep Purple, Steely Dan, and RTF in a true juxtaposition of rock and jazz. "I Am Not Here? opens with gentle pizzicatos from leader Tsuboy, then shifts back and forth between spacey incidental music and driving riff rock. Riff jazz, maybe? Dani picks up the guitar again for "Shironiji," the epic closer which begins as an AOR-style ballad, then drives Four Corner's Sky to its appropriate jazz-rock conclusion.

Alright, enough talk, here's the bottom line: Akihisa Tsuboy is a master craftsman, and KBB stands up to every other fusion unit currently out there, including the old masters. You won't find a better fusion release this year, so get your fix and check out Four Corner's Sky.

Released in conjunction with Poseidon (PRF-008)

Discontinuous Spiral (7:16) / Kraken's Brain is Blasting (9:34) / Horobi No Kawa (6:51) / Backside Edge (6:48) / Slave Nature (6:37) / I Am Not Here (9:08) / Shironiji (10:10)

Akihisa Tsuboy ? violins, cellolin, guitars
Toshimitsu Takahashi ? keyboards
Dani ? bass, guitars
Shirou Sugano ? drums

Lost And Found (2000)
Four Corner's Sky (2003)
Live 2004 (2005)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin JP

Added: October 19th 2003
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website: tsuboy.internet.ne.jp/kbb
Hits: 576
Language: english


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