It seems that every time I go to New York (invariably via Mitsuwa) I stop in the Kinokuniya there and wind up coming home with a new Genso Suikoden album. While I have been less than pleased with half of them, the other half have been superb. Genso Suikoden III ~Rustling of the Wind~ is in the better half, and is probably one of my top 3 favorite Suikoden albums (and I’ve heard them all!).
Now, I must preface my review by saying that I’m a fan of jazz fusion, and that lends heavily to my enjoyment of this album since it is mostly that genre. If you’re not a fan of fusion then most of the album will not appeal to you, although you should still manage to find some enjoyment from it. After all, along side such tracks as “Stupid Ducks” and the title track “Rustling of the Wind,” you’ll find gems such as “Large Hollow,” a rendition of the track of the same name from Suikoden III, although played by a Latin Jazz Combo that will make you feel as if you were in Havana… er, without the oppressive communism, that is. Then there is Town on a Bridge, which starts out as if being played through an old radio or victrola, but which eventually explodes into a jazzy, winding melody that really takes off from the original theme quite nicely.
The only track which was disappointing was “Searching For a Hero,” Suikoden III’s best track, in my opinion. The rendition in this album was all right, but seemed almost an afterthought. Still, the subdued nature of the arrangement does help end the album.
The superb use of Alto Sax, Trumpet, and Trombone in all of these pieces really lend a feeling of quality musicianship to the album. I’d be interested in listening to Bosque Aroma’s other work, if they’ve done any. Add to this the use of piano, violin, electric guitar, marimba, and, of all things, tap dancing, and you get an auditory meal served up in a way only the Japanese can manage. If you’re a big Suikoden music fan and enjoyed Hiroyuki Nanba’s album, pick this one up. If you’re just a casual fan or someone interested in what can only be called experimental jazz, then by all means, hunt this album down. It should be readily available online and in stores.