Review: In 2002, the Japanese government recognized bamboo flute maestro Hozan Yamamoto as a "living national treasure". It was in honor of his lengthy career in music, and in particular the way he championed a traditional Japanese instrument even when he was turning his hand to Western music. "Beautiful Bamboo Flute", an album first released in 1971 and almost impossible to find since, is a superb example of this. It sees him deliver haunting, emotional and life-affirming solos over funky jazz, big band and fusion backing tracks that tend towards the fresh and funky. It's an unusual blend, but also an invigorating and exciting one.