Their second album to hit the shelves in 1978, Japan's sophomore effort, Obscure Alternatives, found the band dropping most of their debut's funk fringe in favor of guitar-oriented fuzz and quirk – scooping up the glitter left behind by all the scene's other nascent Siouxies and Adam Ants…
three CD set containing a trio of albums from the British band led by David Sylvian: Adolescent Sex, Obscure Alternatives and Quiet Life. Sony.
This ten-track budget-priced collection, excerpted and resequenced from a longer version released in Japan, presents Laura Nyro at the piano along with a female vocal trio, performing a combination of the hit songs she penned, some 1950s and '60s hits of others she loved, and some of her newer material of the early 1990s. Four rock & roll oldies, the Shirelles' "Dedicated to the One I Love," the Miracles' "Ooh Baby Baby," Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By," and the Everly Brothers' "Let It Be Me," are interrupted by three of Nyro's own oldies, "And When I Die," "Save the Country," and "Wedding Bell Blues." This abbreviated version of the set then concludes with three then-recent songs, "Light a Flame (The Animal Rights Song)," "Louise's Church," and "Woman of the World," songs that continue to seem more preachy and less personal than her earlier work.
This single-disc Concert in Japan by John Coltrane's 1966 quintet is a reissue of the original double LP that was released as IMR 9036C in 1973. Its three selections include two long instrumental pieces and a spoken introduction of the musicians in Japanese. These performances are compiled from two Tokyo dates. This set is not to be confused with the four-disc document that includes both Tokyo concerts in their entirety. The band here performs a 25-minute "Peace on Earth," a ballad that Coltrane wrote especially for the tour, to express his empathy and sympathy for the nuclear destruction Japan experienced during WWII. The tune moves outside, but stays well within the realm of spiritual boundary-pushing that the band was easily capable of.
In March of 2013, legendary Swedish symphonic progressive rock band, Änglagård played a series of concerts over three nights at the Club Citta, Tokyo, sharing a bill with The Crimson ProjeKCt. Änglagård, now with a revised lineup, present a unique take on progressive rock with influences such as Swedish folk music, old school progressive rock like King Crimson, Genesis, and Dun, and classical music, all wrapped in a very dynamic and symphonic style. Whereas many symphonic prog bands place the rock first and classical second, Änglagård mix the ‘sturm und drang’ of classical music with rock instrumentation such as electric guitar, bass, and synths along side prog rock experimentation.
Other than a Bethlehem album in 1955 and a few obscure titles, all of vibraphonist Joe Roland's recordings as a leader are on this enjoyable CD reissue. Roland, best-known for an early '50s stint with George Shearing's Quintet, was a excellent vibist whose style fell somewhere between Terry Gibbs and Milt Jackson. He is paired in two 1954 quintets with either Freddie Redd (who plays conventional bop) and Wade Legge (sounding at his most eccentric) on piano. However the most memorable set is from 1950 for Roland is joined by guitar (Joe Puma), bass, drums and a string quartet. The writing for the strings (which is uncredited) is quite inventive and, although the strings do not solo, they sound very much like a jazz ensemble. It is particularly interesting to hear this instrumentation playing "Half Nelson," "Dee Dee's Dance" and Roland's original "Sally Is Gone"; guest singer Paula Castle does a fine job on the haunting "Love Is Just a Plaything." Recommended.
“So, during the boom days of the great Japanese New Rock gold rush, many, many exploitation albums were released. Major label bosses, stacks of yen gleaming in their eyes, would corral a well-known studio/jazz musician, sign him to a contract and tell him something like "Here, go and get a bunch of your weirdo hippy friends and record a rock album!…