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Day & Night by Gota

While Gota has a solid background in smooth jazz, this project has more punch happening. Everyone here proves they can hit as hard as any band that professes to be funky.

"Cruisin Your Way" reveals the upbeat side of sailing, but relaxed temperament. It's filled with piano and guitar solos and some riveting festive sax. Then we travel back, way back to the 70's funk style in "Around the Corner." Electric keyboards introduce the track with flute blowing through like a fresh breeze. Wouldn't Gil Scott-Heron, Michael Franks and Steely Dan like to pick up on this? It's ripe with intellect, but not stifled by it. Joy shines through, keeping it real.

"All Together Now" is a mellow track with that slow jam vibe goin' on. Some electrifying sax work and solid piano solos bring color to the melody. They are showing they have it "all together now."

Eddie Harris wrote about the "Theme In Search of a Movie." "Unforgettable Feeling" sounds like it were in search of a vocalist, but he/she'd better be alive, should the challenge be accepted. The disc settles into a "night" groove with "Sweet Memories," which is a romantic track a lot like Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin," and Selena's "I Could Fall In Love." Smooth guitar and piano over the pulsating rhythm, sing matter of factly of a time gone by, perhaps with some regret.

The title track "Day & Night" is filled with contrast. It's a balance between soft and easy flowing guitar and keyboards, then saxes lighten the horizon as the ensemble hit the heights. Simmering to a calmer mood, "Sunnyside" tells the dawn of a new day. That deep sentiment prevails through "Sweet Emotion," which also seems to await a suitable vocalist, but certainly not needed. It's not surprising since Gota has a long list of credits in arranging and producing such works.

"What's Up Charlie?" is the definition of hip, like a combination of Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown and any band who could get funky. Solid horns and rhythm, electric keyboards make it an all around musicians' playground. Yet, there's more.. "Chase in the Urban Jungle" is an exotic torrid jam. It reminds me of The Beginning of the End's "Funky Nassau," and Earth Wind & Fire's "Zanzibar" for those who don't mind telling their age. The last track, "In the Past," is a smooth end to a real party, if you don't mind.

Okay, the soul is obvious. Here's another artist who nods respectfully to the past, but resurrects the groove for a new generation. While I labeled it under fusion, titles disenchant, because it's not always the best description for the artists involved. However, it's the closest, considering Gota's incorporation of jazz styling, instrumental soul and new style jamming. Let's not put limits on this project, Gota and his mighty posse didn't! Grab it!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Gota
  • CD Title: Day & Night
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Instinct Records
  • Musicians: Gota Yashiki (drums, nylon string guitar, percussion), Jim Mullen, Mark James & Kenji Jammer (electric guitars), Lawrence Cottle & Paul Turner (bass guitar), Ian Kirkham & Nigel Hitchcock (sax), Steve Sidwell (trumpet), Ian Kirkham (EWI), Neil Crowley (keyboards).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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