JOHN KAIZAN NEPTUNE
John Kaizan Neptune brings to the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) a new and dynamic sound and feeling entirely his own. A California-born American, Neptune received his master’s certificate in the Tozan School of Shakuhachi in 1977, at which time he was awarded the name “Kaizan” (“Sea Mountain”). He is the author of the book SHAKUHACHI, and has performed and recorded in many countries around the world. His second album, BAMBOO, was named Outstanding Record of the Year by the Cultural Affairs Agency of the Japanese Ministry of Education; subsequent albums (23 to date) and his concerts throughout Japan, Asia, Australia, America, and Europe have made his original music, from traditional Japanese to contemporary jazz, widely know and loved by people of all ages. Neptune, who is acknowledged to be among the top masters of the instrument in Japan, now lives in Kamogawa, Chiba-ken, where he continues to make, write for and experiment with the instrument he had adopted as his own.
Prism is an object that has two parallel bases joined by three (or more) lateral sides. As a transparent triangular form with refracting surfaces at an acute angle with each other, it separates white light into a spectrum of colors.
One of the great things about writing and arranging for a group like “Prism” is the wide spectrum of colors that each musician brings to the sound canvas. It is often a challenge to get everyone working from the same page, but there is joy in the process.
The acoustic instruments were recorded in a hall with no artificial echo or other sound modification. I hope the natural sound emerging from our “ prism” will take you someplace.
John Kaizan Neptune – shakuhachi
Sawako Fukuhara – koto
Ryoka Yoshihama – cello
Special guest artists:
Keiichi Ishibashi – bass
Christopher Hardy - percussion
Neptune in Review
“John Kaizan Neptune has expanded the possibilities of the Japanese shakuhachi flute to embrace the realms of jazz and fusion. At the same time, through many long years of training in the classical repertoire of the instrument, he has become one of the most outstanding exponents of the shakuhachi currently active in Japan. He is joined by musicians who together create music that transcends national boundaries and the origins of their instruments. It is surely music such as this which deserves the label of “World Music” and which is likely to serve as a steppingstone towards music of the future.” – Akira Ebato, University Ethnomusicologist
“At times Neptune and the rhythm section sounded as much Latin or Afro-Cuban as American or Asian. The walls are crumbling, and if results of this caliber can be achieved, we may as well stop worrying about categories.”
After hearing a live performance in LA – Leonard Feather, Jazz Critic