John Kaizan Neptune


John "Kaizan" Neptune has expanded the possibilitiesof the Japanese shakuhachi flute to embrace the realms of jazzand fusion. As the same time, through many long years of trainingin the classical repertoire of the instrument, he has become oneof the most outstanding exponents of the shakuhachi currentlyactive in Japan. He is joined by musicians who together createmusic which transcends national boundaries and the origins ofthe instruments which they perform. It is surely music such asthis which deserves the label of "World Music" and whichis likely to serve as a stepping stone towards the music of thefuture.

Akira Ebato, University Ethnomusicologist

"Neptune's love of jazz is overshadowedonly by his passionate involvement with the shakuhachi itself.The feeling... is very natural, without forced imagination. Hetakes the shortest distant to jazz without artifice."

Yozo Iwanami, Japanese Music Critic

"Neptune has brought tothe shakuhachi a variety of new techniques which have propelledhim to the forefront of virtuoso performers, bringing to the fingeringof the instrument the rhythmic cadences that a professional drummercommands and breaking new ground in exploiting that most flexibleof all flute embouchurements, the shakuhachi "uta-guchi."These new capabilities of the instrument are being systematicallyexplored in Neptune's compositions."

Dan Mayers, President and Founderof the InternationalShakuhachi Society

"We Japanese might often consider the shakuhachi an old-fashionedinstrument, one inferior in function compared with Western instruments,in spite of our familiarity with what it can sound like when well-played.John Kaizan Neptune, a young American shakuhachi player who isalso a talented composer... is not a prisoner of this view."

Hisamitsu Noguch, Japanese MusicCritic

At timesthe rhythm section sounded as much Latin or Afro-Cuban as Americanor Asian. The walls are crumbling, and if results of this calibercan be achieved, we may as well stop worrying about categories."

Leonard Feather, Jazz Critic