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The Hayabusa
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March 28, 2021
After recording his solo album in New York in 1985 guitarist ‘Kenji Suzuki’ was encouraged by the infamous ex-Cream bassist and singer, ‘Jack Bruce’ to permanently leave his Japanese homeland in order to form a power trio together with ‘Herbie Hancock’s Rock It Band’ drummer ‘Anton Fier’. The purpose being to go on tour playing ‘Cream’ classics and to experiment with other Avant grade blues-based rock numbers. At the end of this period, ‘Kenji’ moved to the U.K and was then involved in supporting a rich tapestry of other artists such as ‘Annie Lennox’, ‘Seal’, ‘The Lighthouse Family’ and ‘Bomb the Bass’ before joining ‘Simply Red’ in 1998. He has also released several solo albums, some under his own name and others as Kenji Jammer.
Drummer ‘Omar Hayes’ has had a seemingly less complicated professional background but never-the-less an interesting career moving between a series of heavy rock / heavy metal bands including ‘Orphic Soop’, ‘The Delta Sun’ ‘Epuldugger’, and two periods with ‘Shadowkeep’, to name a few of his bands.
However, this Kenji / Omar collaboration is not their only joint venture. They actually first got together in 1995 assembling a four-piece rock band with a bass player and singer/rhythm guitar. However despite laying down some recordings and playing some live shows, this foursome, as a musical enterprise, was short-lived as the other more lucrative band orientated projects, highlighted above, took precedence.
Moving forward to the current pandemic It was during the lockdown that Omar managed to track down Kenji and they started to exchange music files, combining ideas and laying down tracks together. A partnership which has stirred their collective enthusiasm for combining their instrumental skills through the process of musical interchange. In fact, they have not only assembled sufficient material to fill their debut album ‘Re-Entry’ but have surplus material for further albums,
From an artistic perspective, ‘Re-Entry’ is indeed a fascinating album. Flavoured with a distinctly psychedelic array of laid back, yet complex guitar manipulations that are coloured and supported with a deft partnership of flowing percussive drumming. The resultant album comprises a series of nine nicely worked rock compositions full of charm and enterprise. It is music that effortlessly soars and glides through various widely spaced parameters as if being carried by an unseen thermal presence, the term ‘Hayabusa,’ the Japanese word for a Peregrine falcon amply suits the musical spirit developed by this magical pairing.
‘Kenji’ certainly proves on this album that he is the complete guitarist as he moves through a vast variety of fretboard techniques. Not only from a lead guitar perspective but also, with the aid of multi-tracking, incorporating some energetic bass lines and harmonious rhythmic support. Such fretboard skills are further extended in parts to provide some extraordinary reshaping of the guitar timbre to impersonate that of a violin bringing a bright vibrant edge to the proceedings. Further multitasking too also introducing colourful incursions of keyboard to both complete and adorn the various instrumental sections.
Omar’s percussive contributions are immense combining just about every variety of rock and blues rhythms possible and literally providing both the impetus and platform for the guitar histrionics to perform. Upon frequent listening to ‘Re-Entry’, it becomes apparent just how many rhythmic patterns, beats and time signatures Omar employs throughout the entire score.
Summary: Whist the album could be considered as showcasing the A-Z of both guitar and drumming techniques from two master craftsmen it is of course far more than that providing a delightful album of refreshing instrumental music. Music which could, in fact, be just at home in a hotel lounge as opposed to a smoky club setting
If any criticism could be levied it would be the fact that by today’s standards the album is extremely short at just over 32 mins and that some of the tracks finish in quite abrupt fashion.

Tracks 1.Memphis 2.Top Buzz 3.New Jax-Wing 4.Living In The City 5.Re-Entry 6.Origin Of Solar System 7.Mystery Of Artifact 8.Wasabi Cream 9.Space Tea Party
Tracks 1.Memphis 2.Top Buzz 3.New Jax-Wing 4.Living In The City 5.Re-Entry 6.Origin Of Solar System 7.Mystery Of Artifact 8.Wasabi Cream 9.Space Tea Party
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