Hiroshi Shinkawa

VICL-69036 / aosis records / Victor Entertainment,Inc.

In his previous album titled "Primalroots", as the title suggests it was a step back to his musical roots at the time, which included original songs and content rich in variety. This time all the songs are remakes of other songs, that was recorded in Los Angeles. The first time Shinkawa went to LA for a recording was on a Hi-Fi Set job. At the time, he was 20 years old which means that this was 25 years ago. Since then he has done recordings in LA a number of times and deepened the ties he has with the musicians in LA. The more times he went the smoother communication for work went then after building their friendship it developed into the long relationship that they have now. The musicians that took part in this album (refer to credits) are all part of his "LA friendship connection."
"This time around I wanted to try to go through that "pipe" just once with LA musicians that I am familiar with in the last 15 years or so. It is difficult for people there to pronounce "SHINKAWA" so everyone calls me by my nickname, "SHINKI," so in order to give shape to the ideas he has built with them, he has titled this newest creation "Shinkies." The songs selected on this album were songs that they liked to play at the time. Everybody complains that, "recently, we never have these kinds of sessions anymore" so they really enjoyed themselves playing on this album."
This summer I had an opportunity to listen to these recording at Capital Studio in LA, in person. To have musicians of that caliber in such a large studio at once was like a single band, naturally playing as a "whole." When I saw this I felt a renewed sense of the most important thing in music, which is to have all musicians become one by letting yourself be taken up by the flow of each and every persons own music motif. Since it is now an age where a majority of work is done on computers and sampling is so common, it makes it, something that is that much more emotionally stirring. "Our generation tries to whisk away that kind of virtual stuff and by forming a sound with an ensemble to get the raw sound out of the instruments, we think this is the way things should be, but we are just starving to do it in that way. Which is why, on this album, I made it a point to be particular about the music having a "raw/untainted" atmosphere. This is part of the reason why it was recorded in such a large studio, plus I asked the engineers on this project to have them record the space feel that the room and space itself holds. It's like everyone gets together in one location and says "Alright, let's play!" That is the kind of feeling I wanted to communicate...I thought that I needed to do this to get people to realize and think that nowadays, even the time axis itself is mechanically controlled. I had this in the inner sanctums of my mind for the last year or two." The songs selected on this album aren't just songs that I have fond memories of but, they are those that have an allure of allowing you to discover something new each time you listen to it. "Our generation grew up listening to Western/European music, and we are the generation that was inspired by that but for the folks who have been working in the music biz, all the numbers on this recording must have affected them in at least a small way. It is something that stays in your "heart" in a good way. Which is why I haven't made very many changes in regard to the arrangement.
Also this time, I want to emphasize the fact that only with the "aosis label" backbone was I able to select the songs on this album. Which means, well say for example that I would release this album with another record company. If I tried to put these songs in they would probably ask "Why this song, now?" However the philosophy here at aosis is to disregard musicality and all that difficult stuff and their number one condition is being able to "enjoy" it all, so with that kind of policy the songs selected here are definitely "in"." Shinkawa's capacity for a wide range of music, he concentrates it all into one body, and continues to liberate-that kind of power is packed fully into this creation. The "pleasure" created when people get together, so Shinkawa himself became that very pleasure. Which is why I think the music is also lively.

1. It's the Falling in Love
This was something that was on the second album "TOO" of Carole Bayer Sager, sung by the lady herself, who is also a well-known songwriter and the song itself was David Foster. For the vocals the original idea was to find singer in America with a cuteness in voice, but they could not find anyone to fit the part perfectly, so they appointed one of Japan's promising young singers, Yumi Kawamura.

2. Wha'cha Gonna Do For Me
This is Chaka Khan's hit song. AOR singer, Ned Doheny and Hamish Stuart of Average White Band jointly created the song. In 1980 it was released by AWB and in '81 remade by Chaka Khan to become the big hit that it is. Yumi Kawamura also does the vocals for this one.

3. Altogether Alone
This is the song that best represents AOR singer, Hirth Martinez. Shinkawa's sense in picking up this kind of a tasteful song is outstanding. The true flavor of first-rate music must be something like this. This kind of music is made possible because of the existence of the aosis label. This song has a magic to make people feel pleasant.

4. Mercy Mercy Me
This was a hit song by Marvin Gaye. The songwriter for this is Marvin himself. Marvin's songs always has a jazzy flavor to it, and there are many artists like Grover Washington Jr. who have made their own versions of this song. Blowing the sax on this one is LA's number one sax player, Tom Scott.

5. Under the Jamaican Moon
This is a classic picked up in Nick Decaro's "Italian Graffiti" famed as one of the masterpieces of AOR. Stephen Bishop (also a singer) and Leah Kunkel wrote the song. Steven himself does not sing the song, but Leah has put it on one of her own albums.

6. Daylight
This is a Bobby Womack, who is known more as an R&B singer. The song "Breezin'" picked up by George Benson was also a song by Bobby Womack. Jerry Hey's horn arrangement has been added that interestingly results in creating an atmosphere not found in the original song.

By music magazine "ADLiB" editor Yoshio Matsushita

Track List

1. It's the Falling in Love

words & music : David Foster & Carole Bayer Sager
arrangement : Hiroshi Shinkawa horn
arrangement : Jerry Hey

2. Wha'cha Gonna Do for Me

words & music : Ned Doheny & Hamish Stuart
arrangement : Hiroshi Shinkawa
horn arrangement : Jerry Hey

3. Altogether Alone

words & music : Hirth Martinez
arrangement : Hiroshi Shinkawa

4. Mercy Mercy Me

words & music : Marvin Gaye
arrangement : Hiroshi Shinkawa

5. Under the Jamaican Moon

words & music : Stephen Bishop & Leah Kunkel
arrangement : Hiroshi Shinkawa

6. Daylight

words & music : Bobby Womack & Harold Payne
arrangement : Hiroshi Shinkawa
horn arrangement : Jerry Hey

Recording Data

Produced by Hiroshi Shinkawa & Toshiya Kamada

Acoustic Piano : Hiroshi Shinkawa

Guitar : Paul Jackson Jr. (, Michael Landau (
Acoustic Guitar : Paul Jackson Jr. (3.), Michael Landau (3.)
Guitar Solo : Michael Landau (1.3.)
Drums : Curt Bisquera
Bass : Abraham Laboriel (, Lee Sklar (5.6.)
Keyboards : Tom Keane
Sax Solo : Tom Scott (4.5.)
Trumpet : Jerry Hey (1.2.6.)
Trumpet : Gary Grant (1.2.6.)
Sax : Larry Williams (1.2.6.)
Trombone : Bill Reichenbach (1.2.6.)
Vocal : Yumi Kawamura (1.2.)
Background Vocal : Yumi Kawamura, Tetsuya Takahashi (1.)

Recorded at Capitol Studio Los Angeles & aosis Recording Studio Tokyo Ebisu
Engineered by Kaz Masumoto (studio legacy L.A.), Hiroshi Shinkawa
Mixed by Hiroshi Shinkawa at aosis Recording Studio Tokyo Ebisu
Mastered by Hiroshi Kawasaki at Victor Studio

aosis records Produced by Hiroshi Shinkawa & Toshiya Kamada

Executive Producer : Teruo Saegusa for Victor Entertainment,Inc.