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Harry Hosono Quintet

Harry Hosono is a Japanese popular music old-timer, having started in the early 70's playing a Japanese version of the U.S. west coast hippie folk rock that peaked during the summer of love. He later formed the Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late 70's and, embracing new electronics as they became available, became a pioneer of electronic music respected worldwide. When they disbanded in 1984, he turned to world music and spent much of the late 80's and early 90's exploring that genre.

He took the stage this year doing some sort of synchronized goose-step/shuffle with his (lovely) accordian player while the bass drums and guitar trio vamped to Mr. Sandman. The quintet plays a mix of old-style pop standards like "Save the Last Dance for Me" with a solid jazz backing, He drew a really good-sized crowd all the way out to the Orange 'Coat', with most in attendance hanging on his every move and showing unquestioned allegiance to his quintet, even when his (lovely) accordianist took over vocals on one song. (She was excellent, a haunting soprano like Anita Ward in "Ring My Bell", except singing a show tune.)

The band oozed class and authenticity in their formalwear and laid back playing. The silver sparkle drum kit helped a lot, too. And kudos to the sound people at Orange for letting every subtly of the band come through, even the lightest brush on the snare drum.