On Kiroron (441), production duo Do Swing (Toshiya Kamada and Atsushi "Sushi" Kosugi) took songs by the Japanese pop group Kiroro and enlisted some Western jazz artists to perform them in various styles. They assembled quite a distinguished lineup-Phil Woods, David Sanborn, Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Bob Mintzer, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Mark Egan, to name a few. Add orchestral and big-band arrangements from Don Sebesky, and there's some high-level music-making going on.
Sanborn gives a gorgeous, powerful performance on "Long Time," while the Brazilian number "Blue Magic" features lively piano from Mariano. Lisa Fischer's vocal on the ballad "Winds of Spring" is sensitive and nuanced, while the gospel-tinged a capella vocals on "Ray of Morning Light" wouldn't sound out of place on a Take 6 album. There's some lively interplay between Woods and Mintzer on the big-band number "Save Your Money," and Carter's stately bass, Malone's nimble guitar and dissonant horn harmonies provide intricate textures to "Winter Song of Summer Time."