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Takuya Kuroda’s major label debut blends jazz trumpet lineage with broody late-night jams, slinky nu-soul grooves and upbeat Afro-beat flavours – the Japanese-born trumpeter is in José James working band, and it’s they who provide the expert support.

Kuroda has a warm tone, a brittle edge, and a fund of soulful inflections, while the rhythm tracks, featuring whirlwind drummer Nate Smith high in the mix, sound infectiously live. James, who produced the album, adds vocals on “Everybody Loves Sunshine” and Lionel Loueke guests on “Afro Blues”.

Takuya Kuroda

Rising Son

(Blue Note)

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