Goh Kurosawa | HITORI

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World: Japanese contemporary Easy Listening: Instrumental Pop Moods: Solo Instrumental
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by Goh Kurosawa

"Western knowledge with Japanese spirit." Minor7th.com
Genre: World: Japanese contemporary
Release Date: 

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  song title
artist name
1. Hitori (Part I: Intro)
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2:48 album only
2. Hitori (Part II: Groove)
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2:59 album only
3. Yuzuri
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3:48 album only
4. Betsurui (Tremolo For Toshie)
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6:32 album only
5. Itsukushimi
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3:15 album only
6. Things that matter we tend to forget about
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7:37 album only
7. You don't know what love is (Part I: Words)
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0:31 album only
8. You don't know what love is (Part II: Music)
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5:45 album only
9. Like the first day we met (Theme from ALL IN)
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4:05 album only
10. Zaijian
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5:41 album only
11. Amai Koi (Gentle Love)
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2:56 album only
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Album Notes
When it comes to solo guitar, Goh Kurosawa is a musician who approaches the instrument as if it were a full orchestra on its own. His solo release, HITORI, from Onigawara Records, is a thorough introduction to his versatility and musicality that touches upon the new and old traditions of finger-style, folk rock, jazz, classical, flamenco and Balkan rhythms. However the underlying inspiration of the music comes from soundscapes and reflections of Asia, his homeland.

Living and spending time in two entirely different countries (Japan and the United States) has guided Goh's journey toward his unique style, which he performs on steel-string, nylon-string, and electric guitars. His love for the wide range of musical genres of the globe is highlighted through his compositions and improvisations. In addition to his solo works, Goh is the leader of his global instrumental ensemble, Sharp Three. The trio is featured on the final track of the album, a rarity in which Goh brings out his singing voice in Japanese.

Songs recorded on the album include seven original compositions, an original interpretation of a well-loved jazz standard, and an original arrangement of a popular TV theme song from Korea.

Selections from this LP as well as Sharp Three's album are up for the Grammy Awards 2007.


to write a review

Jeffrey Heinzman

The complexity and simplicity of Goh's music is incredible, and it is easy to understand why he is one of the top rated guitarists in the world. The review from Minor7th states it better than I can. Suffice it to say that if you like guitar with a twist of traditional Japanese intricacy, this is a must-have.


It would be impossible to classify Goh Kurosawa's release "Hitori" into any one genre of guitar music. Suffice it to say that it is a blending of various styles, infused as it is with traditional fingerstyle, modern two-handed tapping, classical and flamenco, with snippets of folk and rock, all wound together with a thoroughly Asian flavor. What we listeners get is a chance to travel through different worlds with Kurosawa as he aurally explores his own journey as a musician. It is not extremely complex playing technically, but it is inventive, using the guitar as a device to communicate. The two-part opening track, the title "Hitori" weaves lovely melodies with polyrhythms while breathing openness. "Betsurui" is a simple exercise of tremolo with walking baseline played on flamenco with delicate tempo to give the sense of leaves dripping in a gentle rain. Time stands still on "Things that matter we tend to forget about", as the douleur of gentle picking gives way to flamenco rasgueados then minor chords creating a tension relieved only by the continued theme of the melody. "Yuzuri" has about everything -- a gentle melody of traditional fingerpicking set off by ascending harmonics, finished off with percussive tapping. Meandering jazz arpeggios on "Part II" add yet another layer of color to the disc, with its happy feel. "Zaijian" takes advantage of the sustain of open steel strings to lull and soothe. The final track features Kurosawa's Sharp Three ensemble, with Japanese vocals on "Amai Koi", which sounds a lot like a jazz standard. This is an intimate recording, as if Kurosawa were allowing us into his inner sanctum to explore his life with him.

lance ross