“Genso Suikoden III ~Rustling Wind~” is an arranged album compiling Genso Suikoden III music funnily enough! Under the banner of Bosque Aroma a collective of musicians give us an ethnic jazz hybrid arrangement of ten tracks.
“Little Ducks” is the opener and possibly the strongest song of the collection. It starts off with a strong hookline and evolves around a jazzy Spanish/Asian circle with a nice simmering piano piece in the middle. It stretches the legs of the instruments and the players and is definitely a highlight of the arrangements. “The Rustling Wind” then gives us electric pianos and a soft arrangement that reminds me of the type of music you hear in every Japanese High-school Love Anime! All very “Loveboat” if you will, with a saxophone leading the way but shadowed with keyboards so it gives it a slightly different tone in places. “Koroku’s Theme” starts off in a light jazz fusion manner before once again it becomes more traditionally structured. The main tune itself is quite catchy and the saxophone once again stretches its legs for an intelligent solo.
“City on the Bridge” reminds me especially at the beginning of very old comedy movies from the 1940’s. It’s bass brass arrangement is excellent and the bouncy rasping of the brass fits the tune hear excellently. Once it’s joined by the surrounding instruments you can tell the song works 100%. As I’m not a fan of jazz music and tend to stay away from it even in the vgm world, it can mean sometimes arrangements like this have a harder time to please me. However if I know I like something jazzy and really enjoy the track then at least I know it definitely works! To say it in short: this track definitely works!
“Detective Kidd” is a very stereotypically super-sleuth song however I have no qualms with it at all as it pulls off the sneaky tap dancey-ness to perfection. Dare I say “Dandy Richmond 2”? “The Great Cave” gives us Latin jazz fusion which again is done to perfection by sticking to a very safe formula but its been such a long time since I’ve heard a jazzy salsa dance I’m more than happy to welcome it aboard!
“Journey” returns to the more lounge music we had at the start of the collection with another catchy melody interrupted by some nice Asian influenced percussion and some electric guitar! “Conversation 2” is a much more subtle affair with gentle drums, sympathetic strings and some wonderful piano and flute work.
“The Wind and the Earth” takes a familiar theme to the series and makes a good job of timing signatures. The main theme is running much slower than the percussion and it makes for an interesting time switch. “Searching for a Hero of Long Ago” ends the arranged collection with some beautiful bells and forest ambience which slowly evolves to into a beautiful closing goodbye and due to the instruments used makes it sound like something completely different to the rest of the music.
Not being a fan of jazz I must admit sometimes I found one or two of the saxophone led songs ever so slightly too long as most sounds come in and around the five-minute mark. However what I didn’t expect was to be pleasantly surprised and wanting to re-listen to some of the songs again. Fans of jazz music and the Suikoden series music will enjoy this arrangement (we know there’s so many of them but this is a good one) and while non-jazz fans may struggle at first – repeated listens should draw you in.