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|Birth name||Takahiro Matsumoto|
|Also known as||Tak|
|Born||March 27, 1961|
Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
|Occupation(s)||Musician, producer, arranger, songwriter|
|Labels|| Vermillion Records |
|Associated acts||B'z, Tak Matsumoto Group|
|Website||Official B’z website|
Takahiro "Tak" Matsumoto (松本 孝弘, Matsumoto Takahiro, born on March 27, 1961 in Toyonaka, Osaka) is a Grammy Award-winning Japanese guitarist, producer, arranger, composer, singer and songwriter. In addition to being the guitarist and lead composer for the rock duo B'z, the best-selling music act in their native Japan, he has also had a successful solo career. He is only the fifth guitarist in the world to have his own Gibson signature model guitar. The instrumental album Take Your Pick (2010) made in collaboration with Larry Carlton won an award for the Best Pop Instrumental Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Matsumoto was inspired to pick a guitar at an age of 13 when for the first time listened to Eric Clapton's playing on The Beatles song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".Reportedly he bought his first electric guitar at age of 15, a Japanese Gibson Les Paul after hearing Deep Purple's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore play "Smoke on the Water on live album Made in Japan . Matsumoto has said over the years that he has many favorite artists, from whom he has drawn much inspiration, from hard rock particularly such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Van Halen and Michael Schenker. He has also cited a love of classical music, which was the catalyst for the incorporation of strings into many B'z compositions. He has also worked with Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra for many years, and their work often appears on many of the earlier B'z albums.
Matsumoto's attended jazz school,but when he started working as a session musician, and supporting tours like TM Network, his musicianship was cemented. His exposure to a myriad of styles helped him to meld his own unique blend, incorporating elements of his jazz training, blues (his incorporation of the style known as "Kansai Blues" is well known), classical, heavy metal, rock, and ska. Matsumoto's continued his session work throughout the early and mid-1980s with acts such as Mari Hamada until deciding to jump on the emerging solo instrumental trend catching on in Japan at that time. He recorded solo album "Thousand Wave" and worked with future globe headliner Tetsuya Komuro as a touring guitarist for Komuro's band TM Network. "99", a simple instrumental incorporating some blistering fretwork, is considered one of his finest works.
After his solo album, Matsumoto decided to try his hand at starting his own band. With his session work behind him, and a burgeoning production career, he started to search for a singer. After being presented with a tape from an unknown session singer known as Koshi Inaba, Matsumoto was blown away. Their first recorded session was a rendition of "Let It Be" and "Oh! Darling" by The Beatles, and even though the amp blew out, Matsumoto knew he had his new singer.Matsumoto and Koshi formed the duo B'z and debuted in September 1988. B'z has continued to be one of the most successful bands in the history of Japanese music, helped by the pairing of two very different musical directions. Matsumoto always drew his tastes from blues, classical, and jazz, while Koshi preferred rock music. Tak has ongoing friendships with musicians such as Barry Sparks, Marty Friedman, Billy Sheehan, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Martin, Jack Blades, Joe Perry, Pat Torpey, Steven Tyler, and Steve Vai, with whom Tak and Koshi recorded the song "Asian Sky" from the 1999 album, The Ultra Zone . Billy Sheehan recorded tracks for 1999's Brotherhood album, as well as touring (along with Shane Gaalaas) as support musicians for 2002's Green Live-Gym Tour. In 2002, Matsumoto contributed music to two songs ("Don't Stop Music!" and "Koiuta") in Misia's fourth album, Kiss in the Sky . She invited him to be a part of the album after discovering his solo work.
In 2004, Matsumoto formed the "Tak Matsumoto Group" with Eric Martin on vocal, Jack Blades on bass, and Brian Tichy on drums, forging ahead with his own brand of musical genius. Tak played guitar, produced the album and wrote songs while Eric and Jack wrote lyrics. On March, the single "Oh Japan ~Our Time Is Now~", was released. The album TMG I that made Tak go back and forth to US for the recording, was released on June 23. Tak has had this project idea for a long time; the album mixes rock and oriental sounds. The album topped the chart in the first week. Matsumoto energetically kept working. On July 18, 19 and 20, he had a collaboration concert with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall. At this special concert named Tokyo Special Collaboration 2004 Matsumoto Takahiro -HANA-, Tak played B'z hit "Love Phantom" and the solo number "HANA" with only his guitar and Orchestra. Soon after, TMG started its tour rehearsal. From July 30, the "Dodge The Bullet" tour started at Zepp Fukuoka. Chris Frazier who played songs on the B'z album Big Machine joined as the drummer for this tour. TMG had 16 shows in 8 locations including the last show at Nihon Budokan. In November, Matsumoto established his own label "House of Strings" which emphasizes guitarists and string musicians. He recorded again at a studio the songs played with the orchestra in July, and released it as the first House of Strings CD with the same title on the album. It is an instrumental album including Christmas numbers such as "Itsukano Merry Christmas" and "Holy Night".
In 2005, he scored the soundtrack for the film Ultraman: The Next , while the next year wrote the music of "Real Face" for KAT-TUN. According to Oricon, "Real Face" became the Japanese best-selling single in 2006. In 2010, after the tour "Ain't No Magic" with B'z, Matsumoto worked with guitarist Larry Carlton. Together they released an album titled Take Your Pick in June 2010, available in Japan and around the world. The album was considered for nomination for nine categories of the 2011 Grammy Awards,and ended up winning the award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. It also won the "Jazz Album of the Year" award at 25th Japan Gold Disc Awards. Together they embarked on a nationwide tour to support the album, with Matsumoto saying that "felt a little nervous playing "Room 335" with Mr. Larry Carlton every night". In 2016, Matsumoto released a three-track EP called Enigma, followed in 2017 by a collaboration album between himself and Hawaiian artist Daniel Ho, Electric Island, Acoustic Sea .
Matsumoto through his B'z fame is credited for "resurrection and reinvention of the Japanese guitar hero", alongside and in comparison to X Japan's guitarist Hideto Matsumoto for a model of guitarist more interested in technique, technology and equipment, popularising the electric guitar as a mass media product in Japan. "1090 ~Thousand Dreams~" (1090 〜千夢一夜〜) was named the 51st best guitar instrumental by Young Guitar Magazine in 2019.Terry Burrows considered him as the "most highly regarded guitarist to emerge from Asia". Matsumoto ranked first in a 2011 poll conducted by Japanese search engine goo on who the Japanese people thought was the best guitarist to represent Japan. In 2019, Matsumoto's song
Matsumoto was given his own Signature Model Les Paul from Gibson in 1999. Matsumoto was added to the Gibson signature artist club as the first guitarist from Asia. He currently holds the record with 7 different signature models produced, including "Model Double Cutaway".His Les Paul model was also adapted into an Epiphone. In recent years was released signature model "Doublecut Custom Ebony".
Matsumoto has also amassed a substantial guitar collection, including the following:
Matsumoto is also an avid collector of older guitar amplifiers, as well as an accomplished bass player. Aside from guitars, he also owns other instruments, such as a few sitars, electric and otherwise.[ citation needed ]
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Take Your Pick is an album by jazz guitarist Larry Carlton and Tak Matsumoto that was released by Vermillion on June 2, 2010 in Japan. The album debuted at number 2 on the Japanese Oricon weekly album charts. The album won an award for Best Pop Instrumental Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards. It also won the "Jazz Album of the Year" award at 25th Japan Gold Disc Awards.
New Horizon is the fifteenth solo studio album by Japanese guitarist Tak Matsumoto, of B'z fame. It is an instrumental album and it was released by Vermillion Records on April 30, 2014 in Japan. The album debuted at number 3 on both the Japanese Oricon weekly album chart and the Billboard Japan album chart.
Epic Day is the nineteenth studio album by the Japanese rock duo B'z. It was released on March 4, 2015, more than 3.5 years after their previous studio effort, C'mon, their longest gap between studio albums. It came after a hiatus in which the members released solo projects, including vocalist/lyricist Koshi Inaba's Singing Bird and guitarist/composer Tak Matsumoto's New Horizon.
enigma is the eleventh solo studio album by Japanese guitarist Tak Matsumoto, of B'z. It is mostly an instrumental album and it was released by Being Inc. on April 27, 2016 in Japan. The album debuted at #4 on the Oricon weekly album chart and at #18 on the Billboard Japan album chart.
Electric Island, Acoustic Sea is a collaborative studio album by Grammy Award-winning musicians Tak Matsumoto and Daniel Ho. The album debuted at #7 on the Oricon weekly album chart and at #6 on the Billboard Japan album chart. "Island of Peace" and "Rain" are re-recordings of songs previously released in Matsumoto's 2014 solo album New Horizon.