JIN JIN: Takashi Hirayasu and Bob Brozman
Amazon #1 International Album of the Year
#2 on European world music charts
"Album of the Year" in ANY category
- Jackson Griffith, Tower Pulse Magazine
Bob and Takashi Hirayasu met for the first time just hours before starting their recording sessions on Taketomi, the smallest and most unspoiled of Okinawa's islands. They set out making music together in a small, one-room wooden house, stepping over the straw mats that doubled as sleeping and dining quarters to record at microphones that were shipped in from Tokyo. The island's innocence is perhaps best represented with its one telephone and one truck, both of which are shared by Taketomi's 200 residents.
Though the two musicians had never met, and had very limited language overlap, they felt an instant rapport. Helped along by Hirayasu, and calling upon his own background in ethnomusicology, including Hawaiian and other island music styles, Brozman understood and absorbed the music almost immediately, translating his varied techniques on guitar, Hawaiian guitar and charango into a sympathetic accompaniment for Hirayasu's voice and sanshin (a three-stringed snake-skinned lute with a 600+ year tradition). The chemistry between the two was so great that most songs were recorded in just one or two takes; the whole recording was complete after only four days on the island.
Links to reviews for JIN JIN:
Despite a handful of international releases, Okinawa's music has long remained one of the world's undiscovered musical treasures. It has an instantly recognizable sound, drawing its influences largely from Japan, and also from China, Indonesia, and Polynesia. JIN JIN is at once distinctly Okinawan, but also takes this traditional music into a new and exciting territory, with Brozman's touch of blues, African and Hawaiian music added to Hirayasu's melodies. The songs that Takashi selected for JIN JIN are Okinawan nursery rhymes, and the lyrics evoke a life of sugarcane cutting, tending goats, and watching fireflies and the moon. But make no mistake: these rustic roots don't mean that the music is overly simple. Rather, it is precisely because the songs on JIN JIN have withstood the test of time for generations, that they are now enjoying a renaissance as irresistible and unforgettably fresh music in the American and European markets.
The surprise international success of JIN JIN (the highest selling Okinawan album ever) has led to Bob and Takashi touring in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and also the recording of their second album, NANKURU NAISA, in which Bob & Takashi take their music to a whole new level.
Praise for JIN JIN:
"This album is immense fun"…"Fantastic stuff."
"I can't remember another album that conveys the joy and magic of collaboration as well as this."
- GUITARIST MAGAZINE (UK)
"a delightful collaboration"…"mesmerizing"
- SONGLINES MAGAZINE (UK)
"It's a marriage of levity and fraternity that positively radiates from JIN JIN/FIREFLY, one of the most buoyant records in recent memory."
- Tower Records PULSE! (US)
"the strings of their respective instruments entwine with a filigreed beauty that belies any assumed cultural divide."
- LONDON METRO
SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW, USA, October 12, 2000
ROOTSWORLD, USA, May 2000
CD NOW, USA - Interview with Bob & Takashi
CD NOW, USA - Review
DETROIT METRO TIMES, USA, May 10, 2000
Bob Brozman - Guitar Master