Laid-back LA, where this marvelously musical and relaxing album was recorded, is about as far West as you can get before West becomes East. John Neptune is something like that himself, only in sort of “new Asian hand” living in Japan, he has immersed himself in the traditional musical culture while at the same time spreading the spirit of jazz via his many recordings, concerts and original compositions. To his many fans on both sides of the Pacific hi is known as Kaizen (“Sea Mountain”), the honorary name he is accorded as a master of the Japanese shakuhachi bamboo flute. The fascinating range, depth and delicacy he finds in that “simple” but difficult instrument are expressed here in “Mixed Bag” in a language everyone - East, West, North and South alike - can understand.
Malcolm B. Davis