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Today we’re listening to Minoru Muraoka, a Japanese shakuhachi jazz player from Yamada. Muraoka was born in 1923 and studied the shakuhachi flute, visible in the album art below, as a teenager.1 In the ‘50s he decided to apply the traditional folk instrument to jazz, a genre then ascendant in postwar Japan. His 1970 record, Bamboo, opens with an incredible cover of “Take Five,” and continues with originals and covers of songs like “House of the Rising Sun” and “Scarborough Fair.” Muraoka’s streaming presence is currently sparse, so we’re playing the more orchestral and fusion-sounding record Welcome To The Minoru's Land, from 1985, on YouTube.
Welcome To The Minoru's Land - Minoru Muraoka (30m, short vocals at various points)
Have a really nice Thursday.