Japanese guitarist Leo Takami's music will be very familiar to fans of Bill Frisell, with its pure, clean guitar tone, and meditative instrumentals. The whole album has a very open feel to it, as if it was recorded in a great hall, but in the style of a calm reverie you might imagine wafting into a hidden away temple for reflection. It also calls to mind Eyvind Kang and all smooth jazz pioneers who pair rock song structures with the strings and winds of chamber music arrangements.
The album opens with a little counterpoint in the song "Felis Catus and Silence," with light orchestral backing to accompany the prominent guitar acrobatics. "Garden of Joy" waltzes us through a scene one could imagine including running water and perhaps a shrine. "Awake" greets the day with contemplative electric guitar noodling. "Children on Their Birthdays" has a slow pulse and toy-like piano, more like a lullaby than a celebration. "Unknown" picks up the pace as it skips joyfully through bright melodies and gently syncopated rhythms.
This album wades a tad too close to being elevator music, but manages to strike a fair balance of delightful instrumentation and movement and interest such that it is worth a listen.