His cover is blown: US and European debut as leader for Akira Tana, a 25-year veteran drummer seen and heard with Kenny Burrell, Sonny Rollins, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Cedar Walton, and Dizzy Gillespie, and many others. On Secret Agent Men, Tana delivers hip, jazz versions of popular television and film theme songs. Featuring the Hammond B3 organ grooves of Dr. Lonnie Smith.


01 Secret Agent Man (4:05)
02 Mission Impossible (4:31)
03 The Guardian (3:36)
04 In The Heat of the Night (4:52)
05 It's Probably Me (5:51)
06 Alfred Hitchcock Theme (3:47)
07 Charade (4:25)
08 From Russia With Love (4:37)
09 When We Are Alone (6:20)
10 Struttin' About (5:50)
11 Song For A Rainbow (6:18)
12 Navarac (3:11)
13 Chase Game (6:10)


Akira TANA, drums

Dr. Lonnie SMITH, organ
Rodney JONES, guitar
Rufus REID, bass
Bob KENMOTSU, saxophones
Chuggy CARTER, percussion


"To the best of my knowledge, it's been some time since anything has been heard from the excellent drummer Akira Tana, so this disc under his leadership was a pleasant surprise to me. As an extra added attraction, his coleader (Rufus Reid) of the rotating combo TanaReid is on board… Don't ask why Lethal Weapon or Quincy Jones' "In The Head Of The Night" are included but the latter makes for one of the most effectively rendered tracks heard. Utilizing the Hammond organ of Dr. Lonnie Smith is a neat twist and he contributed "Chase Game." B-3 buffs and video-types will definitely go for this one."
Cadence, September 2003

"Sure, it's kitschy and gimmicky and a bit predicatable, but Secret Agent Men, veteran drummer Akira Tana's treatment of real and imagined movie themes, works for one simple reason - it grooves like hell! And with ringers like Dr. Lonnie Smith at the B-3, Rodney Jones on guitar, and Tana's frequent colaborator Rufus Reid on bass, what else would you expect? …The concept, cute as it is, might wear thin in the hands of lesser musicians. But Tana, Reid and Co. have the chops and the imagination to elevate the material above the norm, and the good sense to have fun with a fun idea."
All About Jazz New York, June 2003

"Session drummer Akira Tana visits themes from classic spy movies and TV shows on Secret Agent Men (Sons of Sound), his American debut as a leader. Kinda kitschy, you say? Well, maybe the CD artwork is, but the performances aren't. Tana and his outstanding ensemble — bassist Rufus Reid, guitarist Rodney Jones, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu and percussionist Chuggy Carter — mine the improvisational possibilities in these familiar tunes… features some nice interplay between Kenmotsu's melodic sax and Jones' spiky guitar. The album also includes several originals billed as themes from a fictitious film called Tough Guys. The good-humored "Struttin' About" has plenty of spring in its step, while Tana's driving drums and clashing cymbals impel Jones' guitar and Kenmotsu's sax…"
JazzTimes, April 2003

"Their mission, should they decide to accept it: play old spy themes with swing and soul. Mission Possible. Akira Tana’s sextet pulls it off with fun retro-cool sans gimmickry. Once again teamed with supremo bassist Rufus Reid, Tana’s drumming leads the pack with nimble touch and urgent groove. Setting this apart from previous TanaReid CDs is the inspired addition of Lonnie Smith’s sumptuous, grooving B-3 setting the tone. It’s also exciting hearing Tana joined by a percussionist, the fiery Chuggy Carter, bringing out the tight, compositional side in the leader’s kit work. Case closed."
Modern Drummer, March 2003