With 1990's near-fatal boating accident now well behind him, Nestor Torres offered up this package of Latin-accented, hip-hop-tinged smooth jazz, assembling 11 tracks with several producers and production teams. In contrast to his previous album, My Latin Soul, a collection of Latin standards, most of the material here comes from Torres in league with his production staff. The two numbers that are not originals are "Contigo Apprendi," where Torres' flute dances particularly playfully at the close, and the Alejandro Sanz Latin hit "Regálame la Silla Donde Te Espere."
From the opening gong, you know you're in for a treat with Obon. Marking Hiroshima's 25th anniversary, the new disc is the Japanese-American group's first without vocals—save a wordless chant by Shoji Kameda on "Obon Two-Five. Formed by Dan and June Kuramoto (the only Japanese native in the group) in 1979, Hiroshima has successfully blended traditional Japanese sounds with North American pop, soul, R&B, and of course jazz.