DJ Premier: The BADDER Band project was put together by my manager, Ian, and one of my agents that I’ve known since the beginning of my Gang Starr career. He said, ‘What if you put a band together that revolved around a trumpet player from Japan named Takuya Kuroda? He’s got a hip-hop perspective and respect in the jazz field. If you put a band around him, I can get you gigs at Billboard Live in Osaka and Tokyo.’ [303 Magazine]

Quoted above is an excerpt of DJ Premier's 2017 interview with 303 Magazine from around the time he was playing shows with his live band The BADDER Band, whose trumpet player was the Japan-born, NYC-based Takuya Kuroda, who just released his latest album as a bandleader, Fly Moon Die Soon, on First Word a few weeks ago. Like Premier said, Takuya is a jazz musician with a hip hop perspective, and going by the sounds of Fly Moon Die Soon, he's also got a real knack for funk, soul, electronic music, and more, and he has a forward-thinking mentality that drives him to twist these old sounds into something futuristic. (If you like Thundercat, you'll probably like this.) Alongside seven originals, the album includes a cover of Herbie Hancock's 1969 soul-infused jazz classic "Tell Me A Bedtime Story" and The Ohio Players' 1975 jazzy funk hit "Sweet Sticky Thing" (with guest lead vocals by Alina Engibaryan). Both of those songs are clear influences on Takuya's sound, and he does a great job modernizing them and making them feel fresh in 2020. Aside from the Ohio Players cover, there's also guest lead vocals on "Fade" and "Change" (by Corey King), and the vocal-led songs flow seamlessly in and out of the originals.

"[I] wanted to make an album that wasn't just a bunch of flashy singles, trying to catch people's attention in the first 30 seconds, or full of guest features," he said. "Instead, I'm essentially just trying to let the grooves breathe." They very much do, as you can hear for yourself by streaming the album below...