Steven Hashimoto

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Steven Hashimoto's Mothra

Steven Hashimoto's Mothra

1. Eloise
2. Now You Know
3. Haiku
4. Woikin' Wit' Mr. Poikins
5. Tradewind
6. Happenstance
7. Farewell To Manzanar
8. Control Freak
9. Samsara
10. Barely Blue
10. Musashi's Song

Steven Hashimoto – electric bass; Neal Alger – electric guitar; Kathy Kelly – vibraphone; Dan Hesler – tenor, alto & soprano saxophone, Michael Levin – tenor & soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute; Heath Chappell – drums.
Recorded 9/23 and 10/08/2008.
Produced and engineered by Nick Eipers.


#15 in’s Top Chicago Recordings of 2009

“It has that feel of tapping contemporary energy while paying heed to the music’s roots. Covering a lot of stylistic territory isn’t much of a trick, but doing so and still projecting a unified ensemble voice is, and Mothra carries it off with aplomb. Credit the boss’ stinging, melodic bass and his compositional voice that speaks through as strongly on the wistful ‘Haiku’ as it does the title track, a prowling, stalking fusion number… All the members contribute complementary solos, but it’s the way they meld as a group that distinguishes Mothra.”
- David Dupont, Cadence Magazine

“’Tradewind’ is an intellectually stimulating and highly entertaining modern jazz album… Their adventurous grooves, complex chord progressions, and twisting and turning melody lines flow naturally throughout with a high level of ensemble interaction… their heightened sense of communication may be the main ingredient of the album’s success.”
- Matthew Warnock,

“'Haiku' is a beautiful ballad that features Michael Levin on some beautiful flute work. Hashimoto's solo on this one, which opens up the solo section, is reminiscent of Jaco Pastorius, with all of Jaco's horn-like tones. Underneath Hesler's tenor solo, his bass takes on an eerie tone fitting the intensity of what's going on around him. Kathy Kelly’s vibes work on here is gorgeous, as well... If you've ever heard, read or spoken to Hashimoto before, it's evident that he takes his music very seriously, and frankly, I would have been shocked if Tradewind was anything less than excellent.”
- Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz Magazine

“...the music is performed in a compelling manner that should please fans of Hashimoto's group as well as newcomers. The blend of well-written compositions, highly talented players... and a warm and clean recording add up to an album well worth owning in your collection.”
- Brad Walseth,

“For a band that’s been around for a few decades, Hashimoto’s Mothra sounds remarkably fresh. The work of newer recruits, such as guitarist Neal Alger, and the luster of the arrangements explain why.”
- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“... catchy tunes, well done solos, and enough chops to keep the listener interested... Levin's bass clarinet on the title track and 'Samsara' as well as his flute on 'Haiku' give the music an exotic feel, while Kelly's vibes propel the music forward quite lithely. Hashimoto is clear and clean on his bass, and along with Alger, provide some nice interplay on tunes like 'Musashi's Song'.”
- George W. Harris,

“Several years ago, the lineup gelled into the one heard on this disc. It stars guitarist Neal Alger – whose work with vocalists Patricia Barber and Typhanie Monique has brought his self-assured solos to a wider audience – and several artists who, though lesser known, are no less forceful in realizing Hashimoto’s goals: Kathy Kelly (founder of the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective); … Dan Hesler, whose gigs range from country-swing to world-music jazz; … Michael Levin, who’s shared stages with bluesman Charlie Musselwhite and also the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra; and Heath Chappell, whose own internationalist tendencies – seen by his membership in such bands as Sueños and the world-music outfit Flippojazz – make him a perfect fit…”
- Neil Tesser (from the album notes)


Steven Hashimoto has been an integral part of Chicago's many music scenes since 1969. He has performed with countless bands and artists at almost every venue in the Chicago area, playing jazz, rock, funk, folk, country, Latin, avant-garde, cabaret, bluegrass, blues, r&b, reggae, cajun, Brasilian, African and theatre music. He has appeared on many recordings, as both leader and sideman, and has appeared at The Chicago Jazz Festival, The South Shore Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, ChicagoFest and Chicago's Asian American Jazz Festival. As a jazz musician he has played bebop, hard bop, swing, big band, avant-garde, Latin jazz and Dixieland, and has anchored the late-night jam session at The Green Mill for an amazing 22 years. He formed the band Mothra in 1976; this is the band's fifth recording ("Farewell To Manzanar"; "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities"; "Sansei: Third Generation"; and "Giri").

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