“Rain” is the first introduction to the John Coltrane influenced cover art where Blue Thought takes an artful representation of hip-hop and jazz fusion. As the performance moves into “Tonight”, the Japanese vocals would be incredibly foreign to any American listener, but the message translation is understood. The universal language of music transcribes through with these almost erotic whispers that occur in the background while trumpets and warm horn sections vibrate and sculpt a cityscape worth of material. The trumpet playing of Tabu Zombie is a constant variable on Blue Thought, similar to where Lee Morgan made his appearance in the 1957 release Blue Train.
TwiGy Al Salaam is a record for the midnight shuffles into the darkened sub-sections of city streets where the main traffic of the town has now flooded off to bed. Where the music can flourish in the underbelly of seedy speakeasies and accent lighting is the main staple. TwiGy Al Salaam may be the leader of the troupe where the smoke-infested room is a blur but somehow mesmerizing, he captures the attention of the listener in these jazz grooves that feel familiar but with a new coat of varnish. As if an old friend has seen a facelift, rejuvenating the senses and causing reverberation to the spine.
The equal parts rap, equal parts jazz record is progressive and an easy dip in the water of Japanese hip-hop. The lo-fi style of percussion comes from these homegrown cases of ability and manages to hold a near hour worth of content without missing a single three-pointer. Launching from the golden-aged jazz influence to the last seconds of modern authenticity, Blue Thought is reminiscent with a new garnish that performs to impress with an arsenal of style.