Hideo Shiraki

Plays Bossa Nova

Jazz Room • 2023

News outlets are happy to diagnose the emergence of a multi-polar world. Every few years, China, India and Brazil move from the periphery to the center. However, this displacement has been going on for a while in the field of art. Let’s re-view. In the 1950s, the Bossa Nova (Engl.: New Wave) arose as a variant of Samba. It’s the product of post-colonial self-assurance. Following the success of the movie »Black Orpheus«, the style rose to prominence in the US. In 1962, Hideo Shiraki visits the States. The Tokyoite learned to love Jazz during the American occupation. But on tour, the drummer realizes that his paragons are burning for another style. Shiraki soaks up their rhythms, retreats into the studio immediately. He records the title track of »Black Orpheus« and Latin standards. A piece of his idol Horace Silver is included as well. The latter had written »Syonara Blues« as a jazzy ode to Japan. Shiraki tapes it in the Bossa Nova style. The orientation towards occidental models gives rise to multipolar habitats. Later, Shiraki will become a banner bearer of World Jazz. For now, his pieces are still carried by a hunger for novelty, which does not know the gap that separates it from trend-chasing. Nevertheless, Shiraki’s zeal is captivating. A loud mix emphasizes the heart-pounding character of the New Wave. »Hideo Shiraki Plays Bossa Nova« might not be one the capstones of the History of music. Yet, multipolarity implies: outside of the canon you can have a good time, as well.