Gota – Man of Many Talents

Continuing the short series of posts on some of the newer artists and groups that I listen to regularly, I have to give a big shout out to Gota. His full name is Gota Yashiki, but he performs and records under his first name only.

I am listening to this guy all the time. Whether it’s CDs in the car or the big system at home, earbuds stuck into the laptop, or the SanDisk player on an airline flight, a little Gota always perks me up.

Gota Live

Gota Live

Born in Kyoto, Japan, a young Gota learned traditional Japanese Drums. In 1982, at the age of 20, he moved to Tokyo and became a drummer in various reggae groups and started experimenting with electronic dubbing. By 1988 Gota was based in London and heavily involved in studio remixing and working on film soundtracks. He also worked with a number of top recording artists and groups.

Moving beyond just his talent for drumming, Gota became heavily involved in the programming of electronic instruments and remixing. He recorded and toured with Simply Red, and contributed to recordings by Seal, Soul II Soul, Swing Out Sister & Depeche Mode. Alanis Morissette has called him the “Groove Activator” on her brerakout album Jagged Little Pill. He played drums and programmed all the electronic instruments on Sinead O’Connor‘s smash hit Nothing Compares 2 U.

Let's Get Started cover

Let's Get Started cover

In 1999 came the American release of Gota’s second album, Let’s Get Started, where I first discovered him. Lend an ear to the title track:

The third track on Let’s Get.. became a No. 1 hit on Jazz radio. Listen to In the City Life

In 2001, Gota released day & night, a strong follow-up to Let’s Get..
Still working in the style of electronic, fusion Jazz, day & night is another strong collection of tunes and one of those rare albums that are great to play just straight through. Track 1, Cruisin’ Your Way is absolutely one of my favorite up-tempo Jazz pieces. Give it a listen:

I hope these samples of this terrifically creative artist motivate you to buy his CDs. I am believer in artists getting paid and the music I put up here is meant only to whet your appetite and turn you into a paying customer.


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Interesting, provocative post on GrooveNotes

India.Arie (ii)
Image by volume12 via Flickr

Kevin Kneistedt hosts Jazz24, a 24-hour online stream at, and publishes the Jazz24 – Groove Notes blog. It is well worth your time and should be in your Blogroll.

I found one of Kevin’s recent posts particularly provocative. Here is a link to the post:    Top Ten Jazz Albums That You Probably Don’t Own

I will have to put in a little work to accumulate a complete post of ten albums that I think deserve a listen but night not be known. Off the top of my head I can think of a few performers I really enjoy that are not mainstream presences:

1) Jim Haskins – beautiful “cocktail piano” that is excellent background for a party, or reading in private [ Cocktail Piano ]

2)  Trio Medieval – three lovely Norwegian ladies who do incredible chants  [ Trio Medieval ]

3) India Arie – a beautiful, talented singer/songwriter who embraces musical traditions from the world over [ India Arie ]

Now, none of these are ‘jazz’ performers. So, shoot me! Go read Kevin’s post for your classic jazz fix.

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