East West
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East West

Band Jazz World


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"East West CD Review"

I'm always a big fan when somebody tries something new instead of doing all the cool things somebody else already did. I'm a big fan of the artistic risk involved with sticking your neck out. There's a commitment there that's pure, raw, and magnetic.

Having said that, I dig it, too, when any artist refers to a certain tradition with their own music, and gets it "right."

Interestingly, music always changes when one style, genre, or "thing" influences another. And the yin and yang of it all is what makes sense in the new result. Motown met Memphis, and boom! God gave us rock and roll. East West strikes me as being about this notion.

Take your standard jazz band comprised of the traditional instrumentation of drums, bass, guitars, winds, some piano…. Then take a sound that pays respectful homage to forms like the blues, and Mendes-like bassas, with flutes offering a smooth edge to it.
What's so different about that? Nothing.

Now, imagine the koto player busting out into a jazz solo, or surdos, castanets, and flamenco shoes spicing things up a bit. Amazingly, over the course of 10 great tracks, the five band members — along with five sit-ins — manage to weave the musical equivalent to sunshine played on about 17 different instruments. And this proves to be a lot of fun.

No slouches in this band either; they all excel in their respective duties. I like this CD very much, pretty much from head to toe, although I must admit that I did pop a groaner with the gorgeously orchestrated translation of George Gershwin's "Summertime." It's a great job. Again, it sports a beautifully played koto, which in itself is interesting. But when I think of that song, what it really means and where it came from — a certain sense of raw sorrow should be present to keep the tradition right. This particular take is too perfect, actually, coming off more like a polished mimosa. I've heard a lot of those.

However, the risk that the band took in doing it this "way" had me listening to it three times in a row. (And, further, my opinion has nothing to do with the artistic successes of their unique take.)
It's definitely a worthy addition to your jazz collection. - San Diego Troubadour


East West (self-titled debut CD)



This San Diego-based band features musicians among the best in their respective fields: stellar kotoist Reiko Obata, Guitarmaggedon winner Jimmy Patton, superb flutist Louisa West, bassist extraordinaire Bill Andrews, and renowned drummer Russell Bizzett.