- Audio CD (March 13, 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: 18th & Vine
- ASIN: B000N60H5E
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,855 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Sweet & Funky
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Sweet and Funky
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Hailing from Osaka, Hammond B3 organist Akiko Tsuruga played with jazz superstars such as Roy Hargrove and Grady Tate while still in Japan. Tate convinced Tsuruga to emigrate from Osaka to New York City in 2001 and took her under his wing. Very quickly, she established herself as an in-demand player in the hot NYC jazz scene. Tsuruga's debut CD Harlem Dreams, which featured Grady Tate, was released in 2004 and quickly became a best-seller in Japan. Tsuruga's free yet cohesive organ grooves have been further seasoned under a long tutelage from organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith. Sweet and Funky is Tsuruga's US CD debut, and was produced by Grammy-winning producer Jack Kreisburg.
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mighty prolific recording career and enduring artistic immortality with the release of
this blockbuster album that is highly showcased by explosive organ solos, creative
arrangements and a high-rocking atmosphere which had made her a bonafide star
in her native Japan and elsewhere—particularly the United States. The success of
Sweet And Funky have not only brought Akiko Tsuruga to the top of the jazz charts
in 2007, but even solidifies her reputation as an international star on the Hammond
B-3 organ, thanks for her live club performances and debut album Harlem Dreams.
Highlighted with striking compositions like Meannie Queenie, the serendipity-driven
Mushi Mushi and DLG (her passing nod to legendary jazz organist Groove Holmes’
big band sound), as well as with standards, like Sweet And Lovely, Polka Dots And
Moonbeams and a superb take on Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You,
Sweet And Funky deliver us you the type of perfection and grand performance that
we would come to expect from a master jazz organist. You know this has got to be
one of the most amazing jazz masterpieces that I have ever embraced, and just as
I first listened to it, it just truly took my breath away and you will be mesmerized by
it. Hailed by soul jazz saxophonist Lou Donaldson as the ‘Queen Of The Organ’ in
the wake of the album’s official success, she charges like a Spanish bull in a stock
market as she establish herself as this flamboyant and fearless jazz icon who’s not
afraid to put out all the stops. Selected by critics in their “Ten Best CD’s for 2007”,
Sweet And Funky even bought her to the top in Down Beat’s Critics Poll during the
year, which make this blockbuster hit such a timeless classic and wonderful music
experience that will certainly live on for the ages, as well as a absolute hard-hitting
must to own in your MP3 system. (The U.S. edition has it’s show stopping cover)
P.S.: You may want to get the U.S. Edition, because of it's showstopping album cover.
Sometimes it is an absolute joy to find a new musical artist who has truly mastered both their craft and their instrument. AKIKO (T)SURUGA's [silent T] CD, SWEET & FUNKY, is not only a jewel and a joy...but is all, and I mean, ALL that jazz!
The Hammond B-3 organ is an instrument to be played...and [anytime past the late MIGHTY BURNER, Charles Earland] is not to be played-with. Why? Because unless you have mastered the repetoire, any competent back-up trio [Her's is excellent!] will very often lock into a jazz groove that can make a novice look incompetent or downright ridiculous. But this woman (metaphorically) is large and in charge... always setting the groove, and her timing is (Pow!) right on the money! All the time!
The only thing sweet about this jazz CD is Akiko's own personality, because this ENTIRE ALBUM is down-to-B-3-earth, and sho-nuff funky. (I thank my brother for hipping me to her.)
P.S.-- Rather than writing a separate review for Akiko's album, SAKURA, which I also purchased, I will only say that all of the above applies... and even more! So, buy them both!