Agatsuma, shamisen – En – Domo Music

by | Apr 12, 2007 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Agatsuma, shamisen – En – Domo Music 73072-2 *** 1/2 [www.domo.com]:

Hiromitsu Agatsuma is a virtuoso on the traditional three-stringed lute-like Japanese ethnic instrument known as the Tsugaru-Shamisen.  He is the equivalent on his chosen instrument of the recent phenomenon on the ukulele, Jake Shimabukuro. The Japanese word “En” can alternately mean relationship, circle or festival – all of that seems to apply to this disc.  While it does have a few tracks of probably unpleasant-to-Western-ears vocals, the instrumentals really swing thru a variety of genres – including rock, folk, funk, flamenco, blues and dance music.  Unlike the ukulele albums, Agatsuma has cohorts in attendance and the arrangements are good fun – often bridging the divide between the different cultures of East and West.  The sounds and effects he coaxes from those three strings is nothing short of amazing!

TrackList: Under the Moon, Ringo Oiwake, En, Double-Sided, Mogami Riverboat Song, Distant City, Resonating Prayer, Ushibuka Haijabushi, In the Still of the Night, Otoranbu-Jongarayosakoi

– John Henry

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