A 2-cut EP is something I'll ordinarily choose to pass by…except when it's issued by Jake Shimabukuro, the prime ukelele player on planet Earth. The occasion for the disc's issuance was a request from the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, a Shin Buddhist temple, to compose a song to the concept of Annon, caught in a simple desire: "May peace and tranquility prevail throughout the world". Thus, the lead cut is a simple mid-tempo unhurried song that's bright and just the faintest bit wistful, uke and bass the only instruments. Fresh air, the shining sun and a seafull of hope are easily discerned in it. To that was added the more poignant Ichigoichie with its lusher quintet sitting atop a small symphonic strings environment. Like Annon, it's a breezily gentle number easy on the ears and spirit, though Ichigoichie (Once in a Lifetime) follows a continual deepening of its structure that's almost Dvorak-ish. You needn't be a Buddhist to appreciate any aspect of this, just someone who likes music, appreciates lyrical instrumentals, and is getting perhaps a bit disenchanted with these tough times we're wading through.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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