Goh Kurosawa
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Goh Kurosawa

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Japanese guitarist Goh Kurosawa, as well as being a solo instrumentalist, is a member of the group Sharp Three. Hitori is a mostly solo record (although the trio play together on the album’s closer, ‘Amai Koi’), and as an exhibition of Kurosawa’s talent it’s a complete success.

The guitarist strokes his way through the 11 tracks that make up this album with compassion, and even his re-working of ‘Like The First Day We Met’ (the theme from the Korean TV show ‘All In’) sounds like he’s put his heart and soul into it.

http://happysad.org/goh/am071807.html - Acoustic Magazine

"~Memorable Concerts~"

Goh Kurosawa & Sharp Three at Trilogy Guitars, Playa del Rey, CA
By VERONIQUE CHEVALIER (Bluerailroad Magazine - March 2007)

What are the chances of encountering two musical prodigies in the same family? One would be hard pressed to name that many virtuosic siblings, but in the U.S., Pete and Tony Levin are a couple that come to mind. Japan has produced its own version in the form of fusion guitarist Goh Kurosawa, and his brother Kai Kurosawa, a bassist and master of the Warr Guitar (a touch-style instrument, similar to the Chapman Stick, that allows the player to play lead and bass simultaneously). Along with percussionist Nick Terry, the brothers work together in an ensemble known as Sharp Three.

The December 2006 issue of "Guitar Player Magazine" named their self-titled CD as a Top Pick, and the trio has garnered much favorable notice in the US and abroad. Goh, who is impressively adept at wide array of playing styles ranging from flamenco, to classical, to rock to jazz, has also recently released a solo project, entitled "Hitori."

To celebrate the release, Trilogy Guitars recently hosted one of its private, in-house concerts featuring Goh performing songs from "Hitori" in the first half of the program. He was joined onstage by the other 2 thirds of Sharp Three for the closing half.

Trilogy is an unobtrusive two-story edifice at the end of Culver Boulevard, on the ocean end of Playa del Rey's tiny block long downtown. The building has no signage to distinguish it from neighboring homes, and it blends seamlessly into the upscale surrounding of the beach community.

Just as with luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, where the price tags of the inventory speak louder than any street sign could, Trilogy is a destination for the most discerning guitar shoppers in the world. Owner John Silva specializes in carrying only the output of the best luthiers of today, (The prices for the stock on hand starts at the mid four figures and goes up from there).

One such luthier is Jack Sanders, also a world-class guitarist in his own right, was in attendance for the concert. (Mr. Sanders was responsible for customizing Kai's Warr Guitar by removing a swath of frets down the center of the instrument. Kai is the only player in the world to play this particular guitar as a simultaneously fretted and fretless instrument).

By being the clearinghouse for the some of most expensive and exquisite custom guitars in the world, Mr. Silva has been able to book such world class talents as the Kurosawa brothers, Thomas Leeb, Ricard Cobo, Dennis Koster, and many other names familiar to guitar music aficionados the world over, for concerts in his 50 seat upstairs showroom. He jokingly quips that he won't let any of the musicians purchase anything out from his inventory unless they promise to play at Trilogy someday. This arrangement is one that not only brings him the pleasure of experiencing the consummate artistry of his most accomplished customers, but gives the few lucky insiders (who hear about the concerts via word of mouth), the rare chance to see the world's best guitarists from a distance of a scant few feet in a cozy space about the size of a large living room.

From my first row seat at the "Hitori" release, I was literally within five feet of the proceedings, (which is a far cry from my nosebleed seat I had at the Hollywood Bowl 20 years ago for the Romeros). Goh's offerings ranged from fusion/percussive in the title track, to Asian-tinged in the flamenco-ish "Things That Matter We Tend To Forget About." Two young men from the audience joined him onstage to accompany on palmas for a rousing pure Spanish flamenco number originally done at the age of 19 by his idol Paco de Lucia.

After Goh's solo set, I couldn't imagine that the experience could get any better. Not only are his brother Kai, and percussionist Nick Terry also wonderful talents, but the two brothers, who appear to have a very close relationship, engaged in some friendly banter that underscored how natural they are onstage. Kai is actually a bit of a joker. He noticed me scribbling notes as he was talking about the Warr Guitar he plays, and when I told him I wrote a column, he quipped to the Mr. Silva at the back of the room to quick, bring the journalist some more wine.

The Sharp Three played four lengthy compositions from their CD, with the explanation that when playing live they expand upon what's on the recording, since performing allows them more room for improvisation. After the last number, the audience made it clear that an encore was in order, but Mr. Terry had already left the stage.

Kai pulled the tall stool, on which he'd been seated, next to Goh's chair, and in one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed anywhere, both brothers proceeded to simultaneously play an improvisation of one of Goh's compositions- on the same guitar! Kai took the three bass strings and played them almost exclusively in the touch style and Goh - Bluerailroad Magazine


***Selections from LPs were entered for Grammy Awards 2007***

SHARP THREE (OR002: Onigawara Records, original trio*)
HITORI (OR003: Onigawara Records, original LP)

*Sharp Three (www.sonicbids.com/SharpThreeMusic)



By Kirk Albrecht

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.