Smooth Jazz Sunday: I’ve Been Here Before

By the time I discovered the band Hiroshima, they had already been active for over a decade. I had heard the first single they released, “Roomful Of Mirrors,” several times before I even knew who sang it. Their first smooth jazz/new age hit song, “One Wish” barely registered on my radar back in 1985. By 1987, once I started hearing today’s featured song on the radio, I realized who it was.

Founded by Japanese American Dan Kuramoto, Hiroshima have been together for over forty years. They are pioneers of the fusion of Asian sounds with smooth jazz and rhythm and blues music. Their following grew when their music began being heard on R&B stations, particularly “Roomful Of Mirrors,” which featured vocals, but the group began to focus mostly on instrumental songs.

Featuring production by Kuramoto and George Duke, the album “Go” (itself a pun, as go means “five” in Japanese, and it was the group’s fifth album) would prove to be another successful release. The song “I’ve Been Here Before” received quite a bit of radio play, on both smooth jazz stations as well as R&B stations on their slow jam, or Quiet Storm shows. It was there where I first became familiar with the song. Almost thirty years later, I still love to listen to it.

I think it makes a good song to start your Sunday; I hope you do as well. At any rate, thanks for reading and listening.

17 Replies to “Smooth Jazz Sunday: I’ve Been Here Before”

  1. Yeah, I shoulda followed Lennon’s lead a little earlier— coulda dug this when Lady J and I were having pancakes on the patio.
    But for now, I shall enjoy it as I sit in my “Magical and Creativity Chamber.” LOL!!!
    But “One Wish?”
    YAASSSSS!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do too. I think we’re on the same wavelength with that. I just remember seeing them play “One Wish” on Soul Train.
        Hell the lady who was playing that Japanese stringed instrument looked to be about 57 back then.
        They all got to be 70+ by now.

        BTW, can you believe that I googled the instrument and the closest thing that I could find to what I saw is called a Koto. Clearly ‘Gwin’ googled it because Lady G simply cannot….well you know the rest! LOL!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well your Google skills are good, Twin. That instrument is a Koto, and the lady that plays it, is named June Kuramoto. I believe she is married to the band’s founder. She is the only member of the group who was not born in the U.S., she was actually born in Japan but grew up in L.A.

        Fun fact that I didn’t include in the post: she also plays the Koto in A Taste Of Honey’s hit “Sukiyaki.” She and Janice Marie Johnson from ATOH are good friends.

        Can’t guess her age, but if she was growing up in the 60s, that would put her at least in her sixties now.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. See I knew that my Twin would have all the good deets on the group.
        Very interesting to learn that she played the Koto on the recording of Sukiyaki.
        I often wondered if Janice learned how to play the Koto later. You will remember that both of those girls were badasses with bass and rhythm guitar. That being the case, I don’t think that it would be far fetched for at least one of them to learn to play it.
        What say you?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you, Twin! An article I read while doing my research said that Janice works with June Kuramoto often, so I would say that she probably didn’t learn how to play. I can’t speak for Hazel Payne, who played the guitar; haven’t seen anything in my research to know what she has done since A Taste Of Honey faded from the scene.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I thought I saw Hazel playing it in a performance before; I didn’t mention her name in the previous comment because I already met my google quota for today! LOL! That’s why I put it on Janice..LOL!!
        Do you think she was stunting?

        Liked by 1 person

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