Rising Son makes for the perfect title for the Blue Note debut from Takuya Kuroda, an ascendant trumpeter and composer who is perhaps best known for his inspired presence in vocalist José James' band over the past several years. In fact, Rising Son finds Kuroda stepping forth to helm James' remarkable band -- featuring keyboardist Kris Bowers, electric bassist Solomon Dorsey, drummer Nate Smith, and trombonist Corey King -- with James in the producer's chair instead of behind the microphone (excepting a hypnotic version of the Roy Ayers classic "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" to which James lends vocals).
In addition to anchoring James' horn section, the 33-year-old Japanese-born, Brooklyn-based musician has been leading his own bands and has self-released and self-produced three previous albums. While touring with James in support of the singer's Blue Note debut No Beginning No End, he let James listen to some of his newer material. James enjoyed it but wanted to hear more of Kuroda's playing and so the idea developed to have James produce the next album. James also encouraged Kuroda to accentuate more of hip-hop and R&B.