Pitch-perfect: Dice-K Releases Benefit CD

All press / news

Dice-K may struggle with English, but the Red Sox Japanese pitching ace is fluent in British pop, classic rap, Latin hip-hop and Japanese hair metal.

Last week, Daisuke Matsuzaka released “Music from the Mound,” a seven-song, 30-minute benefit CD featuring his favorite tunes, from the jaunty fluff of Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” to LL Cool J’s ghetto-blasting “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.”

“Dice-K was very involved in this project and very meticulous about picking the songs,” said executive producer Loren Harriet, who also worked on ex-Yankee Bernie Williams’ guitar album as well as ex-Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo’s solo CD.

“Hey, Dice-K’s not a robot,” Harriet said from his Los Angeles-area office. “He’s a big music fan and is always on his iPod.”
Most of the tracks were culled directly from Dice-K’s iPod playlists. It highlights the pitcher’s almost freakishly diverse taste. Japanese mega-band B’z and its English language “Real Thing Shakes,” which sounds like top-notch Twisted Sister, sits next to Ak’sent’s Spanish rhyming on “Zingy,” and is followed later by Japan’s Def Tech’s blend of pop, reggae, folk and hip-hop on “My Way” (not the Sinatra song).

“Music from the Mound” also features an original: “Gyro Ball.” Written by co-producer Danny Bernini and Harriet, the techno-funk track features former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and J. Geils Band harp maestro Magic Dick and some play-by-play by Sox television announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.

But most surprising was the help Harriet received from Sox executive Charles Steinberg. “He’s like a Beatles guy,” said Harriet with a laugh. “Like another McCartney or something.” Not only did Steinberg play guitar and keyboard on “Gyro Ball,” he cajoled most of the Sox front office, including president Larry Lucchino, to sing on the chorus.

All that’s missing is Dice-K’s voice. Maybe he’s saving that for a post-World Series follow-up song

Courtesy Boston Herald