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Published August 1, 2005

One Earth Tour Special
Sony Music Japan International/Red Ink

It’s impossible not to be swept away by the spellbinding rhythms of Japanese taiko drumming as practiced by Kodo. Masters of the art for more than two decades, the troupe, based on the island of Sado, exerts Olympian prowess matched by a balletic gracefulness. On this exquisite treat of a performance, recorded in Tokyo in 2003, the visuals—sweaty extreme close-ups and panoramas worthy of Cecil B. DeMille—add several dimensions of understanding and appreciation. Joined by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando, a star of contemporary kabuki theater, and incorporating traditional Japanese instrumentation, voice and dance, One Earth Tour Special shifts in mood and intensity but never ceases being a spectacle to savor. A bonus CD of the performance is included in the set.