Sharp Three
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Sharp Three

Band Rock Jazz


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"CD Review (Jazz)"

Bandleader Goh Kurosawa describes Sharp Three’s style as “Global Fusion,” with influences spanning jazz, rock, Western classical music and Balkan rhythms. His main inspiration, however, comes from reflections of his Asian homeland. In this self-titled album that features nine original tracks, Kurosawa seeks to blend Oriental and Western sounds using both modern and traditional instruments to create a new and unique sound that will appeal to a wide variety of audience. Joined by his bassist brother Kai Kurosawa and Los Angeles freelance percussionist Nick Terry, Kurosawa succeeds in creating that progressive, introspective sound in this album.

Each track leans to a different genre of the groups many influences, making each very distinct. The opening track “Michizure (Sacrifice)” begins with a sequence of jazzy rhythms over haunting harmonics. Terry accompanies with an irregular drumbeat. Intensity builds over the rhythmic section to climax and return to an airy, abstract feel.

Beginning with an Indian-sounding phrase, “Mu (Nothingness)” has a definite aggressive, angry undertone to it that is reminiscent of some progressive metal bands. The track also makes use of more sound effects than others on the album, for example using distortion to make the guitars sound as if sirens are blaring. Indian-style chanting is also employed alongside a tabla drum played by Terry.

“Burn” goes back to the group’s contemporary rock influences, such as Tool. Fast guitar rifts, a heavy backbeat and modern harmonics all add to the feel. While the repeating theme is fast, angry and distorted, the verses are calmer and show the versatile solo techniques within the group, especially Kai.

“Shanghai Beauty” is a beautiful, haunting guitar ballad as a solo by Goh--very passionately played and very moving, but it might have been better with some accompaniment by the bass to thicken it a bit more.

“Shiao” features Terry on the marimba while Goh and Kai create an ambient background. Kai then plays a bossa nova-style rhythm behind the soloists. In striking contrast to most of the tracks, this one maintains its melodic, easy-going style, and shows the group’s jazz roots are well founded.

The best thing about this album, however, is that it can be listened to repeatedly and you’ll still likely hear something new or identify an unknown voice you couldn’t place before. This is definitely a group worth listening to, and if you don’t like one track, skip to the next and you might find something more to your taste. Check out their website for news and updates and their myspace page for music and videos. You can even purchase their music directly from the website. There are also some videos of the trio at - Jazz Review

"CD Review (Rock)"

A very interesting instrumental music album by Sharp Three. The musician's goal is to blend together Oriental and Western music. This goal is attained without sounding forced or over emphasising one genre over the other. In fact there is a nice rythm to this album of alternating powerfull fusion guitar dominated tracks, that mood wise somewhat make me think of King Crimson, with more traditional (almost ambient) music.

Sharp Three is not an album that you will be able to discover in a few listens. The music is at times pretty complex and cerebral but also, surprisingly, has raw and live qualities that we don't usually expect from this musical genre.

Sharp Three surely deserve that their music be heard by many. Highly recommended. - ProGGnosis


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

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

*Solo LP by Goh Kurosawa (



~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 th