Home New Takuya Kuroda Reflects on the Evolution of a Modern Jazz Classic and a Decade of Musical Exploration

Takuya Kuroda Reflects on the Evolution of a Modern Jazz Classic and a Decade of Musical Exploration

by Madonna

On a rainy January day in Brooklyn, trumpeter Takuya Kuroda takes a moment to reminisce amid his busy schedule. Reflecting on the impact of his 2014 album “Rising Son,” which celebrated its 10th anniversary, Kuroda shares insights into his creative journey and the lasting influence of the record.

“Rising Son” marked a significant milestone in Kuroda’s career, released on Blue Note and making him the first Japanese artist to record for the label. In this interview, he discusses the diverse influences that shaped the album, drawing from his jazz roots in Japan to his experiences in New York City’s vibrant music scene.

Kuroda’s arrangement of Roy Ayers Ubiquity’s “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” alongside vocalist Jose James became a standout track, gaining popularity and opening doors for the trumpeter. The album’s fusion of jazz, funk, soul, Afrobeat, and hip-hop elements showcased Kuroda’s ability to seamlessly blend diverse styles.

Throughout the interview, Kuroda shares insights into his creative process, emphasizing the importance of melodies and intricate harmonies in his compositions. He credits Jose James with guiding him toward a conceptual approach to album-making, a lesson that has influenced his subsequent work.

The interview also touches on the evolving landscape of jazz and its audience. Kuroda notes the increasing diversity and youthfulness of jazz listeners, attributing this shift to artists like Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, and Jose James, who have broadened the genre’s appeal.

Looking beyond the success of “Rising Son,” Kuroda discusses his musical journey post-2014. He describes the peaks and valleys of a jazz musician’s life, highlighting the challenges and learning experiences that have shaped his artistic growth. Kuroda expresses confidence in his current musical strength and excitement for future projects.

As the interview concludes, Kuroda reflects on the significance of the hard times in his career, recognizing them as valuable learning experiences that have equipped him with resilience and a multifaceted skill set. He expresses readiness for new challenges and anticipates the release of his next album.

Takuya Kuroda’s decade-long journey from the release of “Rising Son” to his current artistic confidence serves as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of jazz and the enduring impact of groundbreaking works.

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