In the years following World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’. This record uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the post-war modern jazz scene in Japan.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. A searing performance from Japanese jazz giant Sadao Watanabe – and key proof that he was a hell of a player in the years before he softened things up! There's a blissful post-Coltrane post-Miles sort of vibe going on here with Watanabe really jamming things up on the main track on the album – "Round Trip Going & Coming", which features incredible work on soprano sax, and eventually rolls into a kicked-up electric groove that has Sadao playing electric keys, alongside guitar, bass, and drums. Side two features slightly shorter tracks, but still with a great degree of exploratory freedom and fresh improvisation from Sadao – and titles include "Lament" and "Tokyo Suite: Sunset".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Jazz sessions with Toots Thielemans are always a treat, and this album's no exception – one that features Toots' guitar and harmonica in the company of some great younger players from the 70s European scene! The set was produced by Chris Hinze, who also plays flute on the record – and other group members include Philip Catherine on guitar, Joachim Kuhn on keyboards, and the mighty rhythm team of John Lee on bass and Gerry Brown on drums – all musicians who lay back beautifully here, and really stick to the spacier side of their talents! Given that Toots is on harmonica on most numbers, the sound is wonderfully gentle – hardly the heavy fusion workout you might expect from the lineup, although there's a few subtle doses of funk that are much appreciated.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Guitarist Yoshiaki Masuo was only 22 years old when he recorded Winds of Barcelona, his first leader album, in 1969. He had been discovered by the Japanese jazz giant Sadao Watanabe, and had been a member of Watanabe's group for over a year. Masuo, and the fresh, new kind of jazz – sometimes referred to as "pop jazz" – was immensely popular at the time.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. A double-length, ultra-cool set from saxophonist Phil Woods – yet another aspect of his great body of work from the 70s, and a live date that features Woods at the head of a sextet! The group here features acoustic piano, electric guitar, bass, drums, and percussion – all used in ways that are often a bit more organically building and spacious than some of Phil's more intense Rhythm Machine albums – showing a new sensitivity in Woods' music, but one that still has plenty of room for searing, searching solo moments! Titles include "Django's Castle", "A Little Peace", "Brazilian Affair", "I'm Late", "Superwoman", "High Clouds", "How's Your Mama", and "Rain Danse".
Reissue with latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. This is a unique experiment in the Hancock discography, recorded in Tokyo in just one day during a tour of Japan. The first side contains two introspective, complex solo acoustic piano tracks, "Maiden Voyage" and "Dolphin Dance," which are notable since they date from a period when Hancock was supposedly totally immersed in electronics. Side two has two even more unusual pieces – "Nobu," a one-man show recorded in real time with the sample-and-hold feature of an ARP 2600 synthesizer providing a rhythm section for Hancock's electric keyboards, followed by "Cantaloupe Island" with a pre-recorded synth bassline.