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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

AKIRA TANA

By Jill Ettinger

Moon Over The World
Sons of Sound

Over the last two decades modern jazz performer and clinician Akira Tana has become known for drumming behind folks like Sonny Rollins and Lena Horne. As co-leader of the jazz quintet TanaReid with bassist Rufus Reid, he has released Moon Over The World, an Asian-American collaboration of Japanese, Chinese and American-style jazz improvisation. With Ted Lo on piano, the uptempo trio takes inspiration from the Asian pop heritage as well as traditional music. Tana's extensive jazz repertoire provides the expected standards, but never without surprise. Carefully selected contributions like contemporary Japanese composer Hiroshi Miyagawa's fresh offering "Koi-no Vacance" ("Vacation Of Love"), hint at the diversity of this record while notes of samba are present on tracks like "Condor Man." A strong supporter of the movement toward the preservation of jazz education (Tana participates annually in the Stanford Jazz and Swing workshops), folks like Tana are integral to the future of music as an art form and a celebration of life.