Grooves & Samples #17: Minoru Muraoka – Take Five (1970)

Grooves & Samples #17: Minoru Muraoka – Take Five (1970)

With the recent passing of jazz legend Dave Brubeck, we’d like to take this week’s Grooves & Samples to showcase his influence. Minoru Muraoka was a popular Japanese recording artist who toyed with traditional Japanese music and jazz/funk fusion.

Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.

With the recent passing of jazz legend Dave Brubeck, we’d like to take this week’s Grooves & Samples to showcase his influence. Minoru Muraoka  was a popular Japanese recording artist who toyed with traditional Japanese music and jazz/funk fusion. He recorded two albums of particular note; Osorezan and Bamboo, both released in 1970.

Minoru is generally known as the foremost shakuhachi player in Japan, a traditional bamboo flute instrument. His fusion music has reached the ears of  many crate digging enthusiasts including the likes of Cut Chemist and Egon (of Stones Throw and Now Again Records).

The track we feature below is a cover of “Take Five”, Dave Brubeck’s most famous composition. Muraoka’s rendition of the melody on shakuhachi is simply sublime and gives the classic jazz standard a full Japanese makeover. Be sure to look out for a dirty drum break starting around the 3:26 mark. Check it out below and also enjoy a live performance from Dave Brubeck and his band.

Kamir

Kamir Hiam (USA) has been obsessed with hip hop culture since discovering rap as a child in the mid 90s. As curator of The Find's Stay Thirsty podcast, he is an obsessive crate digger, always looking for more dope music. Other hobbies include travel, reading, fitness, and science.