Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sadao Watanabe - Sadao Plays Bacharach & Beatles

Year : 1969
Label : Nippon Columbia
Serie : Takt Jazz Series
Genre : Jazz
Style : Pop, Easy Listening, Jazz Rock, Free improvisations

Live performance at Sankei-Hall, Tokyo in 1968 with the addition of three studio recordings on side B, by Sadao Watanabe & his new band featuring Terumasa Hino, Kazuo Yashiro, Yoshiaki Masuo, Hiroshi Suzuki, Yoshio Ikeda, all surrounded by a large horn set. This collection brings together various Pop standards consisting into Soul Jazz & Jazz Rock variations of some well known Burt Bacharach's tunes and best cover songs by The Beatles, including three tracks from their Magical Mystery Tour '67 album, a notable psychedelic version, occurred in free forms, of the George Harrison's Blue Jay Way, plus others classics as Look Of Love or Walk On By.

Sadao Watanabe_alto saxophone,sopranino
Yoshiaki Masuo_guitar
Yoshio Ikeda_bass
Isao Eto_electric bass
Fumio Watanabe_drums
Yuji Imamura_percussion
Kazuo Yashiro_organ, electric piano, hapsicord 
Terumasa Hino & Tetsuo Fushimi_trumpet
Hiroshi Suzuki_trombone
Yasushi Ichihara_baritone trombone

And more...

01. Look Of Love       
02. Magical Mystery Tour       
03. Trains Boats and Planes       
04. Ticket To Ride       
05. Walk On By       
06. I Am The Walrus       
07. Here There And Everywhere        
08. Blue Jay Way       
09. Reach Out For Me


Sadao Watanabe & Brazilian 8 - Sadao Meets Brazilian Friends

Year : 1968
Label : Nippon Columbia
Serie : Takt Jazz Series
Genre : Jazz, Latin Jazz
Style : Bossa Nova, Samba

One of the most wanted LP, an absolutely essential record produced by Sadao Watanabe with some Sao Paulo local musicians, the Brazilian 8. This is the first studio recording outside Japan for the main actor of the Bossa Nova 'boom' in Japan during the sixties decade. This album, never released in Brazil, was recorded at Sao Paulo in 1968 featuring most members of the Brazilian Octopus band, in which played keyboardist Hermeto Pascoal. Titles include Bossa Nova songs & Samba rhythms of the brazilian standards from João Gilberto, Djamel Ferreira, João Donato, Chico Buarque De Hollanda plus three original compositions of Sadao Watanabe. All tracks arranged by Sadao Watanabe.

Sadao Watanabe_alto saxophone,flute
Mathias Da Silva Matos_bass
Olmir Seocaer_guitar
Aparecido Bianchi_organ, piano
Joao Carlos Pegorro_vibraphone, piano
Douglas De oliveira _drums
Jose Ferreira Godinho Filho_alto saxophone
Carlos Alberto Alcantara_tenor saxophone
Waldir De Barros_trumpet

01. Bim Bom
02. E Nada Mais
03. Jequibau
04. Eu E A Brisa
05. Barquinho Deferente
06. Ritmo
07. Tristeza
08. Carolina
09. Bossa Na Praia
10. Mostra Morena
11. Muito A Vontade
12. Ritmo


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Be Hard Bop - Brazilian Tapestry

Essential Grooves, Psychedelic Rock & Samba beats from Brazil recorded between 1966-1971 by Jazz performers, actors of the Tropicália movement, Samba Singers, the Kings & Queens of Brazilian Pop featuring Gal Costa, Erasmos Carlos, Elis Regina, Wilson Simonal, Chico Buarque, Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil & more... 

Compiled & Mixed by Be Hard Bop

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Caetano Veloso (Self-Titled)

Year : 1968
Label : Philips
Serie : DeLuxe
Genre : Latin, Rock, Latin Jazz
Style : MPB, Bossa Nova, Samba, Psychedelic

After his brilliant debut Bossa Nova album, "Domingo" (1967), which launched Gal Costa's career in Brazilian Pop Music, the committed artist Caetano Veloso enters in the Tropicália movement in becoming one of its famous leaders with among others artists such as Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Maria Bethânia or Tom Zé. This protest movement started in the late sixties, formed by a community of musicians, political activists, songwriters & poets who wanted revolutionize the brazilian culture involving an assertive social awareness against Brazilian military dictatorship (Gil & Veloso were held for several months in 1969 before to be forced to leave the country). They have searched in introducing largely some influences, spirit, writing style & attitude from the Beat Generation, folk & psychedelic music as performed by the Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Veloso has recruited Rogério Duprat for the arrangements (himself involved in several albums of the Tropicália movement), co-written & composes with the poet José Carlos Capinan, his friend Gilberto Gil, Ferreira Gullar and the songstress Gal Costa, all with the ambition to make it the equivalent of the "Sgt. Peppers" album for Brazil. Titles include the two anthems Tropicália & the freedom song "Alegria, Alegria" (often referred to as the Brazilian hymn of 1967), Ave Maria from the Franz Schubert version & Clara featuring Gal Costa. All songs are composed by Caetano Veloso except those mentioned.

01. Tropicália
02. Clarice (Caetano Veloso, Capinan)
03. No Dia Em Que Eu Vim-Me Embora (Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil)
04. Alegria, Alegria
05. Onde Andarás? (Caetano Veloso, Ferreira Gullar)
06. Ave Maria (Franz Schubert)
07. Superbacana
08. Paisagem Útil
09. Clara feat. Gal Costa
10. Soy Loco por Tí, América (Capinan, Gilberto Gil)
11. Anunciação (Caetano Veloso, Rogerio Duprat)
12. Eles (Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil)


George Otsuka Trio - Page 2

Year : 1968
Label : Nippon Columbia
Serie : Takt Jazz Series
Genre : Jazz
Style : Hard Bop, Contempory Jazz

The second volume of a three serie recorded by a legendary modern Jazz trio where evolve the pianist Hideo Ishikawa & bassist Masaoki Terakawa between 1965-1969. This masterpiece of George Otsuka is a japanese jazz classic (among Sleep Walker's influences), which received the same year, the "Grand Prix" from the Japan Jazz Awards '69 edition. Titles include the dancing tune "Hot Cha!" (Junior Walker), the jazz standards On Green Dolphin Street, I Fall In Love Too Easily, Blues By Five (based on a version recorded in 1956 by the Miles Davis Quintet) & Lament (J.J. Johnson).

Hideo Ichikawa_piano
Masaoki Terakawa_bass
George Otsuka_drums

01. Hot Cha!
02. On Green Dolphin Street
03. I Fall In Love Too Easily
04. Blues By Five
05. Lament


Groove Holmes - American Pie

Year : 1972
Label : Groove Merchant
Genre : Jazz
Style : Soul Jazz, Jazz Funk

American Pie is representative of the main influences to the Acid Jazz movement whose the fatherhood could return to Holmes. An album in the same vein than the previous Comin' On Home from Blue Note, and his first recording for the Sonny Lester label, Groove Merchant. He plays within an keyboardists duet (Holmes being associated here with electric pianist Larry Willis who replaces Weldon Irvine), and a rhythm section consisting of the same couple Hubbard/Jemmott, however without the percussionist Ray Armando.  Titles include stoned-soul grooves, some funky attitude (suggested by some great organ solos flights), relaxing & mellow moods, speaking it in seven tracks among American Pie by Don McLean, the Sonny Rollins' standard, St. Thomas, his demonstrative Fingers & a variation of the Jimmy Van Heusen's Here's That Rainy Day. Produced by Sonny Lester.

Richard "Groove" Holmes_organ
Larry Willis_electric piano
Gerald Hubbard_guitar
Jerry Jemmott_bass
Kwasi Jay Ourba_drums, congas, bongos

01. American Pie
02. St. Thomas
03. Catherine
04. Fingers
05. It's Impossible
06. Rainy Day
07. Who Can I Turn To


Lou Donaldson - Say It Loud !

Year : 1969
Label : Blue Note
Genre : Jazz
Style : Soul Jazz

More commercial language for Lou Donaldson who uses, for the first time, the varitone process, an amplification system for saxophone. Indeed, the Lou Donaldson Quintet (featuring Charles Earland, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy Ponder, and of course, Idris Muhammad), adopts here the Blues/Boogie mode, making of Say It Loud! one of his funkiest LP. The first side is entirely devoted to covers songs including the opening track, the Funk/Soul classic from James Brown and the great jazz standards than are Summertime (played in a Latin variation) and Caravan, while the other side consists on two originals composed by Lou.

Lou Donaldson_ alto saxophone
Charles Earland_organ
Jimmy Ponder_guitar
Idris Muhammad_drums

01. Say It Loud I'm Black And Proud
02. Summertime
03. Caravan
04. Snake Bone
05. Brother Soul


Friday, October 24, 2014

Zito Righi E Seu Conjunto - Alucinolândia

Year : 1969
Label : Hot
Genre : Jazz, Latin Jazz
Style : MPB, Bossa Nova

Great japanese press, "Absolute For Dancing", reissued by the parisian store 'Superfly Records', of an unrecognized bijou from Brazilian Pop Music perfomed by Zito Righi, an obscure multi-instrumentalist, best known as saxophonist, arranger and band leader. As far as I know, Zito have also previously released three others albums in the early sixties : Sax De Ouro ; The Song Is You ; Ribamar & Zito Righi. Alucinolândia is not only an ode to the psychedelism (as the title suggests), but also a large brazilian tapestry which consists of a sophisticated blend from versatile sounds and various rhythms between Boogaloo, Easy Listening, Samba/Rock & Jazz. Titles include instrumental tracks, some songs with english & portugese lyrics featuring Sonia Santos and the classic of George Gershwin, Love Here To Stay. All tracks recorded, led & arranged by Zito Righi.

Zito Righi_saxophone, piano
Renato_baritone saxophone
Alberto_organ, piano
Verinha, Sonia Santos & Charlie_vocals

01.  Poema Ritmico Do Malandro
02. Somos Todos Irmãos
03. Once In A While
04. Birimbau
05. Primeira Conjugação
06. Bye Bye
07. Love Is Here To Stay
08. Isn't A Dream
09. Sou Feliz Aqui
10. Adeus Amor
11. Alvorada
12. Hert

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Takehiro Honda & His Orchestra - What's Going On

Year : 1971
Label : Trio Records
Genre : Jazz
Style : Soul Jazz, Jazz Funk

The Rare Groove Collector with Soul Jazz expressions, What's Going On, is the sixth Honda's studio album and his first recorded in the US. He recruits here, an american line up formed by the arranger Teddy Adams, guitarist Ken Lawson & drummer James Cheek, surrounded by a horn section featuring Kohsuke Mine & Tetsuo Fushimi. What's Going On includes his R&B influences from the Soul genius Curtis Mayfield (the classic of the Impressions, Check-Out Your Mind), James Brown (the groovy Ain't Funky Now), Marvin Gaye (the title-track) or Otis Redding (Dock Of The Bay). Others titles include also the Eddie Harris' cover Sham Time, Greasy Spoon by The Crusaders and a reprise of his original composition, Ain't Tell You A Good Way But. All tracks arranged by Terry Adams.

Takehiro Honda_organ, piano & electric piano
Ken Lawson_guitar 
Tamio Kawabata_bass
Yuji Imamura_congas
James Cheek, Takuji Kusumoto_drums
Kohsuke Mine_alto saxophone
Kazunori Takeda_tenor saxophone
Teddy Adams_trombone
Tetsuo Fushimi, Shuzo Morikawa_trumpet

01. Ain't Tell You A Good Way But   
02. Check-Out Your Mind   
03. Ain't Funky Now   
04. What's Going On   
05. Sham Time   
06. Greasy Spoon   
07. Dock Of The Bay


Monday, September 15, 2014

Norio Maeda Trio - Alpha Ray

Year : 1969
Label : Nippon Columbia
Serie : Takt Jazz Series
Genre : Jazz
Style : Contempory Jazz, Hard Bop, Modal

Japanese Jazz masterpiece from the land of the Rising Sun among the best "Takt Jazz" albums ever recorded, featuring Norio Maeda surrounded by two jazz greats which are Tatsuro Takimoto (sideman for Sonny Rollins, Hozan Yamamoto...) & Takeshi Inomata. Played by this dynamic trio, in the Hard Bop & Modal styles with some up-tempo beats, Alpha Ray is a must where Norio skillfully demonstrates his impressive technique and his full of ingenuity (as in Fifth Column using the piano strings). Titles include four Maeda's originals, Maria from West Side Story and the Jazz standards Bye Bye Blackbird, Star Eyes respectively by Ray Henderson & Gene DePaul. The explosive title-track was selected in the Shibuya Jazz Classics (Sleep Walker Collection - Columbia Issue), compilation gathering the main influences of the japanese Avant-garde jazz band, Sleep Walker. All tracks arranged by Norio Maeda.

Norio Maeda_piano
Tatsuro Takimoto_bass
Takeshi Inomata_drums

01. Alpha Ray
02. Bye Bye Blackbird
03. Maria
04. Fifth Column
05. Slobber
06. Star Eyes
07. Infinite


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ace 7 - Latin Rhapsody

Year : 1968
Label : RCA
Genre : Jazz, Latin Jazz
Style : Easy Listening, Afro Cuban Jazz

Ace 7 was formed by the japanese jazz pianist, Hachidai Nakamura, member of the original line-up, the legendary Big 4 in 1954, led by George Kawaguchi alongside Hidehiko Matsumoto & Mitsuru Ono. The Ace 7 group consists of some Japanese Jazz Giants featuring 'Sleepy' Matsumoto, Isao Suzuki, Shungo Sawada, Akira Ishikawa, Takashi Onodera & others. Latin Rhapsody is the second album of the band, a large tribute to the Latin Music and its own style including some cover songs from Cuba, Mexico, Argentina & Spain : Bolero (the classics Quizas, Quizas, Quizas & Besame Mucho), Tango (El Choclo), Rumba (Rumba Rhapsody), a funky version of Te Quiero Dijiste, the Latin Jazz standards by the Mexican songwriter Alberto Dominguez (Frenesi, Perfidia) & Cole Porter (Begin The Beguine) plus one composition from Hachidai Nakamura (Yogiri No Koibitotachi). The group have likewise released with the same formation, two others 'tribute' albums in 1969 : Ciné Jazz & Modern Jazz Best. All tracks arranged by Hachidai Nakamura.

Hachidai Nakamura_piano 
Hidehiko Matsumoto_tenor & soprano saxophone  
Akira Nakano_trumpet
Isao Suzuki_bass
Shungo Sawada_guitar
Sadanori Nakamure_rhythm guitar 
Akira Ishikawa_drums
Takashi Onodera_percussion
Seiji Hiraoka_vibraphone

01. Rumba Rhapsody
02. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
03. Te Quiero Dijiste
04. Historia De Un Amor
05. Cielito Lindo
06. Tres Palabras
07. La malagueña
08. Begin The Beguine
09. Frenesi
10. El Choclo
11. Perfidia
12. Besame Mucho
13. Yogiri No Koibitotachi


Thursday, September 11, 2014

M. Sato + J. Inagaki & His Big Soul Media - Bridge Over Troubled Water

Year : 1971
Label : Nippon Columbia
Serie : Master Sonic
Genre : Jazz
Style : Jazz Rock, Big Band, Free Improvisations
Website : Satoh Masahiko

The Jazz Rock anthem by the revolutionnary pianist Masahiko Sato featuring Jiro Inagaki & his progressive Jazz Rock Band, the Big Soul Media where evolve Ryo Kawasaki, Yasuo Arakawa, Tadayuki Harada, Shunzo Ohno & Takeshi Inomata from the Sound limited. This versatile and prolific pianist has left his mark on the japanese jazz history thanks to several experimental projects & free jazz albums, was arranger for japanese & international artists, has also composed music for various television programs, films & animated movies whose the best known are Miyazaki's Panda Kopanda (1972) and the cult Belladonna (1973). Masahiko Sato started as professional musician in the Masaaki Fujita Quintet (1961) and joined the Toshiyuki Miyama's New Herd Big Band in the late sixties. In 1966, he entered the Berklee College of Music in order to become arranger and formed the Masahiko Sato Trio with the bassist Yasuo Arakawa & drummer Masahiko Togashi (1968-1971), recorded with it the first of three serie discs and won, for the first (Palladium), the Japan Jazz Award in the best debut album category. In 1970, with french violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, he released Astrorama (feat. Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Yoshiaki Masuo & Motohiko Hino) which paving the way for future international collaborations in considerable recordings as composer & arranger, inter alia, for Nancy Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Roy Haynes, Gary Peacock or Art Farmer, played also with Yohsuke Yamashita, for the singers Yoshiko Gotoh & Hirota Mieko, Motohiko Hino, Anthony Braxton or Hank Jones. In 1971, he formed the Sound Breakers featuring drummer Louis Hayes with whom released the experimental Free/Jazz Fusion album Amalgamation and joined in 1975, the Electro Keyboard Orchestra group alongside Yuji Ohno, Hiromasa Suzuki & Masao Yagi. In the late seventies, he participated with Hiromasa Suzuki, to the Tri Piano project created by Norio Maeda which released Pianic Pianism & Super Tri Piano (both recorded in 1977). Masahiko Satoh plays here in a groovy approach with free improvisations & sophisticated arrangements associated to the psychedelic expressions of Ryo Kawasaki plus the powerful skills of a swinging Inomata (as the great drum solo on Sniper's Snooze), all backed by the Soul Media Big Band led by Jiro Inagaki. Titles include three originals composed by Satoh, the Pop cover Bridge Over Troubled Water from Simon & Garfunkel, the Al Kooper' Somethin Goin On and the Psychedelic Soul tune Love & Peace. All tracks arranged by Masahiko Satoh.

Masahiko Satoh_piano & electric piano
Jiro Inagaki_tenor saxophone
Tadayuki Harada_baritone saxophone
Shunzo Ohno_trumpet
Tadataka Nakazawa_trombone
Ryo Kawasaki_guitar
Yasuo Arakawa_bass
Takeshi Inomata, Hajime Ishimatsu _drums 
Seiji Tanaka_percussion

01. Bridge Over Troubled Water
02. Love & Peace
03. Somethin Goin On
04. Guru
05. Serenity
06. Sniper's Snooze

Saturday, August 30, 2014

George Otsuka Quintet - Go On

Year : 1972
Label : TBM
Genre : Jazz
Style : Hard Bop, Modal 

The first solo step on the Three Blind Mice label by the great japanese drummer George Otsuka featuring Mabumi Yamaguchi, Takashi Mizuhashi, Toshiyuki Daitoku & the soulful expressions of Shunzo Ohno. After have evolved in the Toshiko Akiyoshi's Cozy Quartet and the Hidehiko Matsumoto Quartet (between 1961-1964), George Otsuka formed with Hideo Ichikawa & Masaoki Terakawa, his first legendary trio (active from 1965 until 1969), with whom he recorded the famous trilogy Page 1, Page 2 & Last Summer - Page 3 (released on Columbia Takt Jazz Series). Later, during the seventies, George sharing stage with Elvin Jones or Nana Vasconcelos, and was sideman for some notable jazzmen such as Hampton Hawes, Jack Dejohnette, Phil Wood or Miroslav Vitous. He recorded also in 1968 "Groovin' With My Soul Brother" alongside Roy Haynes & Ichikawa. In Japan, he was recruited by Isao Suzuki for the "Blow Up" album (TBM - 1973) and played in the Mabumi Yamaguchi Quintet. Titles include the Jazz cover Here's That Rainy Day by Jimmy Van Heusen, Isotope composed by Joe Henderson, the Ohno's title-track and two original compositions of Mabumi Yamaguchi.

Shunzo Ohno_trumpet & flugelhorn
Mabumi Yamaguchi_soprano & tenor saxophone
Toshiyuki Daitoku_piano
Takashi Mizuhashi_bass
George Otsuka_drums

01. Go On
02. Castaly 
03. Space Drive
04. Here's That Rainy Day
05. Isotope


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nobuo Hara And Sharps & Flats - Double Exposure

Year : 1970
Label : Liberty
Genre : Jazz
Style : Big Band, Modal

The Nippon Big Band Sharps & Flats' project mixing Jazz & Cinematic moods with Oriental influences, led by Nobuo Hara with the partnership of pianist/arranger, the great Lady of Jazz, Toshiko Akiyoshi featuring Takao Naoi from The Count Buffalos, Toshihiko Ogawa, Hiroshi Takeuchi plus a large Brass Ensemble where evolve likewise Hiroshi Suzuki, Koji Suzuki & Teruyuki Fukushima. Titles include four Akiyoshi's compositions which are Let's Roll In Sake played on spy mod with its dynamic drum breaks, Sumie, Fool & the funky blues Double Exposure. The last two are composed by the arranger Eiichi Fujii, Ostinatism & the Lonely Girl Of East. Tracks 1 to 3, 6 arranged by Toshiko Akiyoshi while tracks 4 & 5 arranged by Eiichi Fujii.

Nobuo Hara_tenor saxophone
Koji Suzuki_alto saxophone
Teruyuki Fukushima_trumpet 
Hiroshi Suzuki_trombone
Toshihiko Ogawa_piano 
Hiroshi Takeuchi_bass  
Takao Naoi_guitar 
Kazuhiro Ebisawa_drums

And More...

01. Let 's Roll In Sake
02. Sumie (Impression Of Black And White Picture)
03. Fool
04. Ostinatism
05. Lonely Girl Of East
06. Double Exposure


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Harold Alexander - Sunshine Man

Year : 1971
Label : Flying Dutchman
Genre : Jazz
Style : Soul Jazz, Hard Bop, Avant Garde, Funk/Soul, Scat

Rare masterpiece by the Jazz flutist Harold 'Jazzbo' Alexander formed in quintet featuring Neal Creque, Bernard Purdie, Richard Landrum & Richard Davis. Harold Alexander has shared stages beside Elvin Jones, Jimmy Davis or Eric Dolphy, was active in the seventies as a session player in group Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers alongside Neal CrequeRichard Landrum, but also was sideman for the organist Big John Patton on UnderstandingBoogaloo (probably recorded during the same session in 1969). He signed for Atlantic Records two others LP during this period : the live performance recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Are You Ready ? and the album, Raw Root. Titles include some scat, flute & saxophone improvisations, his rare groove single, the cult Mama Soul with its b-side Sunshine Man, both in extended version. All tracks composed & arranged by Harold Alexander.

Harold Alexander_flute, soprano saxophone
Neal Creque_electric piano
Richard Davis_bass
Pretty Purdie_drums  
Richard Landrum_congas
01. Sunshine Man
02. Quick City
03. Tite Rope
04. Mama Soul
05. Aquilla
06. Clean-Up


Buddy Rich - Roar Of '74

Year : 1974
Label : Groove Merchant
Genre : Jazz
Style : Big Band, Contempory Jazz, Funk/Soul, Jazz Funk

The Roar of '74 is the first of five albums released by the Buddy Rich Big Band under the crossover jazz label, Groove Merchant. Buddy Rich continues here his new direction "Funk/Soul"  started with "A Different Drummer" album recorded in 1971. In the Buddy Rich Big Band features a rhythm section formed around Joe Beck, Tony Levin, Buddy Budson, Sam Woodyard & Jimmy Maeulen, and brass band of eight musicians including the saxophonists soloists Pat La Barbera & Joe Romano. The tracklist consists of jazz covers from Horace Silver (Nutville) & Duke Ellington (Prelude To A Kiss), Kilimanjaro Cookout arranged by Manny Albam and the incredible killer groove "Big Mac". All tracks produced by Sonny Lester.

Buddy Rich_drums
Tony Levin_bass
Joe Beck_guitar
Buddy Budson_piano
Sam Woodyard_percussion
Jimmy Maeulen_conga
Pat La Barbera_ tenor & soprano saxophone
Joe Romano_alto saxophone

And More...

01. Nuttville
02. Kilimanjaro Cookout
03. Big Mac
04. Backwoods Sideman
05. Time Check
06. Prelude To A Kiss
07. Waltz Of The Mushroom Hunters
08. Senator Sam


Michel Legrand - Archi Cordes

Year : 1964
Label : Philips
Genre : Jazz, Pop
Style : Big Band, Easy Listening

Jazz Scat with nice string ensemble conducted & performed by Michel Legrand Et Son Orchestre featuring the guitarist Elek Bacsik who was recruited by Serge Gainsbourg for his 'Confidentiel' album released the previous year. This cult album is returned to the light in 1996, thanks to the track Di-Gue-Ding-Ding which was selected for the easy-listening compilation "Inflight Entertainment". The french maestro pianist who had hired Miles Davis, Bill Evans & John Coltrane for his legendary album Legrand Jazz recorded in 1958, was arranger for Maurice Chevalier, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz. But Legrand is best know as the composer of over 100 films music and television (The Thomas Crown Affair, Summer 42, Never Say Never Again...), indeed, he was very popular among french filmmakers from the New Wave, in particular, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Demy, Agnès Varda, Chris Marker or Claude Chabrol. Titles include only compositions by Michel Legrand except Orange Blossom Special by Ervin T. Rouse.

01. Di-Gue-Ding-Ding    
02. Noix De Coco    
03. Orange Blossom Special    
04. Coma Ray And Come Charles    
05. Hi Girls    
06. Manhattan Stroll    
07. Alcatraz    
08. Da-We-Da    
09. Monkey Business    
10. Come Ride With Me    
11. Motor-City    
12. Bandol


Masaru Imada Quartet - Now!

Year : 1970
Label : Three Blind Mice
Genre : Jazz
Style : Modal, Post Bop, Free Jazz

Essential Japanese Jazz album recorded for the TBM japanese jazz label, the second as a leader by organist/pianist Masaru Imada featuring Ichiro Mimori, Takashi 'Gon' Mizuhashi & Masahiko Ozu. Masaru Imada is one of these Japanese Jazz masters involved in various "figurehead" groups of the Japanese Jazz, at the dawn of the 70s. Masaru played in particular, in the Takeshi Inomata's West Liners (alongside Ichiro Mimori), the Tadayuki Harada's group, but was best known as a member of Jiro Inagaki & The Soul Media ; later he also evolved in the Bingo Miki & Inner Galaxy Orchestra. Takashi Mizuhashi was sideman for Sadao Watanabe, George Otsuka, Isao Suzuki, Terumasa Hino and also member of the legendaries George Kawaguchi Big 4 & Kosuke Mine Quintet. The tracklist consist on four original compositions arranged by Masaru Imada including Modal Jazz & free improvisations.

Masaru Imada_piano
Ichiro Mimori_tenor & soprano saxophone
Takashi Mizuhashi_bass
Masahiko Ozu_drums

01. Nostalgia
02. Alter
03. Gehi Dorian
04. The Shadow Of The Castle


Various - Mobilisation Générale : Protest And Spirit Jazz From France

Year : 2013
Label : Bornbad records
Genre : Jazz
Style : Modal, Free Improvisations, Avant-Garde

Music from the revolutionaries inspired by the Beat Generation & the Counterculture featuring Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Brigitte Fontaine, Full Moon Ensemble, Michel Roques, François Tusques Le Collectif Du Temps Des Cerises. Great Spiritual Jazz associated to poetry, spoken words & african/arabic rhythms, performed by several French underground artists in the Paris '70 which polarized african culture & the protest spirit during this decade : the whole of a generation politically committed & anti-militarist influenced by the Free Jazz movement with for main inspirations John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler or Pharoah Sanders. All tracks are selected by JB Born Bad Julien Achard Digger's digest, released for the french label, Born Bad Records.

Titles include :

  • Je Suis Un Sauvage (1970) performed by the french/togolese poet, Alfred Panou who is accompanied by the lengendary Free Jazz group, Art Ensemble Of Chicago.
  • C’est Normal (1970) performed by the unconvantionnal singer Brigitte Fontaine and his husband. Brigitte Fontaine also played with Art Ensemble Of Chicago for her Comme A la Radio album released in 1969.
  • De l’Orient A L’Orion is a rare 45 RPM from popular tunisian singer Kamel Raouf Nagati, remains apart in his discography, the tune was probably influenced by the John coltrane play.
  • Nous Allons Vous Conter… (1973) of François Tusques, among first Free Jazz performer in France during the sixties who has played some featurings with Don Cherry, Aldo Romano, Michel Portal, Jean-François Jenny clarke or Colette Magny
  • Samba Miaou (1971) performed by the Full Moon Ensemble, best known as the group of Archie Shepp during the live performance at Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival, 18 july 1970
  • Le Cri (1972) by Michel Roques, a saxophonist & multi-instrumentist who played with some american jazz giants as Bud Powell, Johnny Griffin or Dexter Gordon.

Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Je Suis Un Sauvage
Brigitte Fontaine & Areski Belkacem - C'est Normal
Atarpop 73 & Le Collectif Le Temps Des Cerises - Attention... L'Armée
RK Nagati - De L'Orient A L'Orion
Frédéric Rufin & Raphaël Lecomte - Les Eléphants
François Tusques - Nous Allons Vous Conter... (Intercommunal Blues)
Mahjun - Nous Ouvrirons Les Casernes
Full Moon Ensemble - Samba Miaou
Baroque Jazz Trio - Orientasie
Michel Roques - Le Cri
Chêne Noir - Hey
Beatrice Arnac - Athée Ou A Te


Astrud Gilberto - Beach Samba

Year : 1967
Label : Verve
Genre : Jazz, Latin Jazz, Easy Listening
Style : Bossa Nova, Smooth Jazz, Pop

Astrud Gilberto is surrounded by a grand orchestra conducted by the master Don Sebesky featuring Hubert Laws & Toots Thielemans plus a rhythm section featuring Ron Carter, Grady Tate, Georges Devens & Marcos Valle, all supported by the brazilian arranger Eumir Deodato & the producer Creed Taylor. Titles include some Pop-oriented songs recorded especially for US market (as the Samba '68 of Marcos Valle released on the same label), a large selection of rhythms & styles, alternating songs in portuguese lyrics & english, The Face I Love by Marcos Valle, the jazz standard from Victor Young, My foolish Heart, the banda Parade by Chico Buarque, two classics of Luiz Bonfa (Oba ObaDia Das Rosas) and two songs composed by Deodato (Canoeiro & Não Bate O Coração). All tracks produced by Creed Taylor, arranged by Don Sebesky except Oba Oba, Canoeiro, Dia Das RosasNão Bate O Coração by Eumir Deodato.

Ron Carter_bass
Marcos Valle_guitar
Claude Slon, Grady Tate_drums
Hubert Laws_flute & woodwind
Toots Thielemans_guitar & whistle
Georges Devens_vibraphone

And more...

01. Stay
02. Misty Roses
03. The Face I Love
04. Parade
05. Oba Oba
06. Canoeiro
07. I Had The Craziest Dream
08. Beach Samba
09. My Foolish Heart
10. Dia Das Rosas
11. You Didn't Have To Be So Nice
12. Não Bate O Coração


Monday, June 23, 2014

Marcos Valle - Máximo Valle by Be Hard Bop

Between 1963 to 1973, Marcos Valle & his brother Sergio have left their mark on Brazilian music and participated in its expansion to the United States. This versatile musician has explored most of the existing musical genres & styles from Bossa Nova, Contemporary Jazz, Rhythm&Blues as well as Soul, Rock, Pop Music and Jazz Funk, all associated to the samba rhythms. He also allowed different brazilian Rock & Jazz brazilian to emerge, such as O Têrço, Som Imaginario or Azimuth by recruiting them for Marcos Valle '70, Garra (1971), Vento Sul (1972) & Previsão Do Tempo (1973). Most of his albums recorded during this period, have become the must classics of Brazilian music of the twentieth century. Since his first LP, Samba Demais, released in 1963, the Valle's work divides into three distinct periods : his early 'Bossa Nova' years (1963-1968), the Psychedelic years (1969-1972) and finally the Jazz Funk period which starts in 1973 with Previsão Do Tempo. This eclectic compilation brings together some of his finest compositions including the  standards Gente, Samba De Verao & Os Grilos.

Compiled & Mixed by Be Hard Bop

Gal Costa (Self-Titled)

Year : 1969
Label : Philips
Genre : Jazz, Latin, Rock
Style : Bossa Nova, MPB, Psychedelic, Pop

In the Top of MPB recordings, this is the second 'jewel' album of Gal Costa and her second collaboration with singer/lyricist Caetano Veloso (he also lends his voice on Que Pena & Baby) featuring special guest Gilberto Gil. For this album, she recruited the arranger Rogério Duprat, the maestro who has revolutionized the Brazilian Music, often compared to George Martin, which, indeed, creates here some sophisticated arrangements using some psychedelic effects as the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album released two years ago. This Brazilian tapestry introduces Costa in the International Pop Music by mixing Latin grooves from Bossa Nova & Samba with Rock, Soul & Jazz Funk. Titles include compositions of Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Erasmo & Roberto Carlos, Tom Zé, Jorge Ben, the funky grooves Se Você Pensa & Vou Recomeçar plus some Bossa Nova (the beautiful Saudosismo) & psychedelic Samba songs (as Sebastiana). All tracks arranged by Rogério Duprat.

01. Não Identificado
02. Sebastiana Feat. Gilberto Gil  
03. Lost In The Paradise   
04. Namorinho De Portão Feat. Gilberto Gil  
05. Saudosismo
06. Se Você Pensa   
07. Vou Recomeçar   
08. Divino, Maravilhoso   
09. Que Pena (Ela Já Não Gosta Mais De Mim) Feat. Caetano Veloso 
10. Baby Feat. Caetano Veloso   
11. A Coisa Mais Linda Que Existe   
12. Deus È O Amor


Vladimir Cosma - Ultra Pop-Op

Year : 1970
Label : Sylvester Music Company
Serie : Sounds Pop
Genre : Jazz, Stage & Screen
Style : Jazz Rock, Psychedelic, Pop

Vladimir Cosma is a French/Romanian composer, conductor and violinist who worked alongside Michel Legrand in several music genres, collaborating for Chet Baker, Pepper Adams or Toots Thielemans. He was head of numerous french film music compositions (as Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob) during over fifties years. The original issue was recorded for the French library music label MPI (Musique Pour L'Image), returned to the light thanks to the track Black Flowers which was selected by Michaël Darmon (owner of Kif recordings label & producer of Jazz Liberatorz) for the compilation Mélodie En Soul Sol - Paris 70's released in 2002.

  • original issue under Musique Pour L'Image N° 27

01. Deep Pop
02. Misty Honey
03. Black Flowers
04. Ultra Pop-Op
05. Square Face
06. Whiteness
07. 13th April
08. Sweet And Sour Pop
09. Cool Pool
10. Pop-Pourri


Minoru Muraoka & New Dimension Group - Bamboo

Year : 1970
Label : King Records
Serie : NEWS
Genre : Jazz, Folk, World & Country
Style : Tradionnal, Jazz Rock, Psychedelic Moods

Minoru Muraoka was probably with Hozan Yamamoto & Toshiaki Yokota from Sound Limited, the most well known shakuhachi Jazz player (traditional bamboo flute) outside Japan. He was among the first to mix Japanese Folk with popular music and also one of main actor of the japanese Jazz-Rock scene from the late sixties to the early seventies such as Kiyoshi Sugimoto, Akira Ishikawa, Jiro Inagaki or Takeshi Inomata have been. This crossbreeding between jazz, pop and the traditional Japanese music give an 'oriental' deep groove to the Muraoka' album thanks to a large ensemble of traditional instruments as shakuhachi, koto, biwa, shamisen and taiko, all performed by his New Dimension ensemble featuring Makiko Hirayama & Hiromitsu Katada. Note that Minoru Muraoka has played, in particular, with Herbie Mann for Gagaku And Beyond (1976), Makiko Hirayama & Hiromitsu Katada were recruited by Yuji Ohno for Zantetsuken extracted from Original Soundtrack From Lupin The 3rd released in 1978. Bamboo is divided into two parts : the Side A that showcases the traditional Japanese instruments (in particular the percussions) performed by the New Dimension group while the Side B gives way to a more conventional rhythm section. This last is more Pop/Rock-oriented with evolving of 'psych' organ, electric guitar & bass plus drums played by The New Emotion featuring probably organist Yusuke Hoguchi and maybe guitarist Sadanori Nakamure & drummer Akira Ishikawa. Titles include a jazz standard of Paul Desmond, the classic Take Five, three originals with the folk Nogamigawa Funauta, his masterpiece, The Positive And negative, the cult song, Soul Bamboo, plus several pop covers from The Beatles, The Animals to Bacharat, Simon & Gartfunkel and finally a bossa version of the Chris Montez' song, Call Me. Tracks A1 to A4 performed by Minoru Muraoka & New Dimension, arranged by Kozaburo Yamaki, tracks B1 to B9 performed by Minoru Muraoka & New Emotions, arranged by Takashi Ikeda.

Minoru Muraoka_shakuhachi
Jun Suzuki_bass
Makiko Hirayama_biwa
Kimiko Yamauchi_koto
Hiromitsu & Kisaku Katada_percussion 
Akira Ishikawa_drums

Side A : The New Dimension Group

Take Five
Nogamigawa Funauta
The Positive And The Negative
And I Love Her

Side B : The New Emotions

The House Of The Rising Sun
Do You Know The Way To San Jose
Soul Bamboo
Call Me
Scarborough Fair

Yuzo Hayashi & Salon '68 - Life As A Cinema

Year : 2002
Label : April Records
Genre : Jazz, Latin Jazz, Stage & Screen
Style : Easy Listening, Bossa Nova, Nu-Jazz

Sweet lounge music recorded in 2002 by an obscure japanese keyboarder/conductor & his group featuring scat singing performances by Minako Kasahara (former member of Reggae Disco Rockers) & Mayumi Chida. In 2006, with the same formation, Yuzo Hayashi was in charge of the soundscape for the josei animated serie, Honey & Clover, and recorded a tribute to the italian actress, Monica Vitti (Memory Of Monica Vitti) in the same vein. Life As A Cinema is somehow the reminiscent of the classics Italian soundtracks, reminding the famous reissues & compilations from the italian Music library label, Easy Tempo (Piero Umiliani or Stefano Torossi), but also the Konishi Yasuharu productions with his Pizzicato Five group. Titles include some retro & erotic atmosphere surfing on the glorious days of the french/italian riviera from the mid sixties : Bossa Nova tunes, french Pop (Sasowarete 63) & the groovy Kyū Shigai No Zawameki. All tracks composed & arranged by Yuzo Hayashi.

Yuzo Hayashi_organ, keyboards & scat
Minako Kasahara, Mayumi Chida_vocal, scat
Yuzo Oka_bass
Daisuke Meguri_guitar
Reiko Aoyama_violin
Masaharu Ishikawa_drums
Tadashi Satoh_percussion
Mitsuharu Sonoyama_saxophone & flute
Toshimichi Imao_saxophone & flute
Nabuhiro Kikuchi_trumpet & flugelhorn

01. Incontro Hajime Wa Tanin
02. O' baka No. 9
03. Itsumo Onaji Mise De
04. Koisuru Futari
05. Kaigantōri To Hanauri
06. Machi O Nukedashite
07. Koibito-Tachi No 7 Gatsu
08. Merukāto No Kudamono
09. Rimōne No Jikan
10. Sasowarete 63
11. Erotica Mibōjin
12. Kyū Shigai No Zawameki
13. Kioku No Koibito


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Be Hard Bop - Samurai Champloo Music Record : The Sons Of A Battlecry

This compilation attemps to gather some best compositions from the Samurai Champloo Soundtrack. Samurai Champloo is one of the best japanese animated serie from the 2000s, directed by Shinichiro Watanabe (also director of famous the Cowboy Bebop serie), produced by the Studio Manglobe, was first broadcasted in 2004 on FUJI TV. To create the perfect soundscape, Manglobe has recruited some of the finest japanese producers & beatmakers featuring Nujabes, the electronic duo, FORCE OF NATURE (KZA & DJ Kent), Tsutchie, former member of Shakkazombie, and Fat Jon from the american Hip-Hop band Five Deez. All are surrounded by rappers as Shing02 (in charge of the opening), Suiken & S-Word from Nitro Microphone Underground or also Azuma Riki from Small Circle Of Friends. Four volumes have been released to date & one compilation especially produced for US.

Compiled & Mixed by Be Hard Bop

Marcos Valle (Self-Titled)

Year : 1970
Label : Odeon
Genre : Jazz, Latin
Style : Bossa Nova, MPB, Psychedelic Pop

Marcos Valle '70 is best known as 'The Bed Album' which firmly established the maestro in the International Pop music initiated by Samba '68. Following his previous LP (Mustang Cor de Sangue - 1969) announcing a psychedelic approach and his "protest years", Marcos Valle '70 incorporates modern Rock & Soul music, probably influenced by The Beatles' legacy and a trip across the US in the year of 1966, where he discovered the Afro-American sound & the psychedelic music. He's evolved over 10 years in Bossa Nova since his first album, Samba Demais (1963), and contributed to its success with his latin standards as evidenced the cover songs "Summer Samba" (Samba De Verão) or "Os Grilos", before turning to sophisticated pop  & Jazz Funk. Marcos is always surrounded by his brother Sergio, but also his sister Ângela and  the progressive brazilian rock group Som Imaginário featuring Wagner Tiso, Tavito, Luiz Alves & Robertinho Silva including the legendary vocal quartet Golden Boys. Titles include finest pop tunes as "Quarentão Simpático" & the protest song "Dez Leis", new recording of "Os Grilos", the typical latin song, "Esperando O Messias" feat. Golden Boys, the waltz "Pigmalião", "Ele E Ela" (sampled by Jay Z on Thank You from The Blue Print 3 in 2009), and the experimental baroque suite "Suíte Imaginária". All songs written by the duo Marcos/Sergio except Pigmalião with Novelli & tracks 2, 7, 9 written by Marcos Valle only.

    Marcos Valle_vocals & piano
    Ângela Valle_vocals
    Nelson Ângelo_guitar
    Wagner Tiso_keyboards
    Luiz Alves_bass
    Robertinho Silva_drums

    01. Quarentão Simpático
    02. Ele E Ela
    03. Dez Leis
    04. Pigmalião
    05. Que Eu Canse E Descanse
    06. Esperando O Messias feat. Golden Boys
    07. Freio Aerodinâmico
    08. Os Grilos
    09. Suíte Imaginária

    Count Buffalo & The Jazz Rock Band - Soul & Rock

    Year : 1969
    Label : Denon
    Genre : Jazz
    Style : Jazz Rock, Modal, Free Improvisations, Psychedelic

    Free Jazz Rock album with covers and originals compositions recorded by the Count Buffalo band, precursor of the Japanese Progressive Jazz Rock genre featuring Masahiko Satō & Hiromasa Suzuki. The first album of Akira Ishikawa under  Count Buffalo nickname who was active since the mid-fifties as percussionist and probably the most famous jazz drummer alongside Motohiko Hino, Takeshi Inomata & George Kawaguchi. Each track contains some free forms of Jazz & psychedelic rock including two classics from The Beatles, the Motown cult song, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me which was performed by The Supremes & Marvin Gay, the negro spiritual Deep River, two compositions of Masahiko Satō The Cougar & No More Than A Drop.

    Akira Ishikawa_drums
    Masaoki Terakawa_bass
    Masahiko Satō_piano
    Hiromasa Suzuki_electric piano
    Kiyoshi Sugimoto_guitar
    Takeru Muraoka_saxophone

    01. The Cougar
    02. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
    03. Michelle
    04. Green Sleeves
    05. The Sandpiper
    06. No More Than A Drop
    07. Hey Jude
    08. Deep River
    09. Mago-Uta 


    Hiroshi Suzuki = Masahiko Togashi Quintet - Variation

    Year : 1969
    Label : Nippon Columbia
    Serie : Takt Jazz Series
    Genre : Jazz
    Style : Modal, Free Improvisations

    Hiroshi Suzuki associated to the legendary jazz drummer Masahiko Togashi featuring Yuji Ohno, Jun Suzuki & Tetsuo Fushimi. Masahiko Togashi started to play professionally in the Sadao Watanabe Quartet (1957), later, played for several Jazz Greats as pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, Helen Merrill, Masayuki Takayanagi, Yosuke Yamashita or Charlie Mariano and likewise in various groups as the Miyama New Herd. He recorded some Free Jazz sessions in 1969 with the Masahiko Satō Trio, various solo projects (whose We Now Create is the first), and the same year, formed his best known quintet, the J.J. Spirits in partnership of Satō. This collectible item of Free & Spiritual J-Jazz, features among the influences of the japanese jazz group Sleepwalker and was selected for the compilation dedicated to their Jazz' favorites (including Castle Cats) called Shibuya Jazz Classics - Sleep Walker Collection.

    Hiroshi Suzuki_trombone
    Masahiko Togashi_drums, percussions
    Jun Suzuki_bass
    Yuji Ohno_piano
    Tetsuo Fushimi_trumpet

    01. Castle Cats
    02. Variation
    03. Suzu No Uta
    04. Alfie
    05. Passion


    Monday, April 28, 2014

    Various - Nippon Girls : Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1967-1969

    Year : 2013
    Label : Big Beat International
    Genre : Rock, Pop, Jazz
    Style : Bossa Nova, Beat

    'Groovy girl pop from the land of the Rising Sun' : sweet sugar pop & Rock&Roll spirit from the Far-East compiled by Sheila Burgel for Big Beat International. It brings together some of killer songs performed by the queens of the GS music (for 'Group Sounds') in twelve incredible tracks released between 1967 to 1968 for Victor, Nippon Columbia, Capitol, Philips & King Records labels. The GS music was a japanese rock genre which introduced the japanese pop in a modern era. This movement was directly inspired by the US Rock, British Pop and the Rhythm&Blues. The GS known a great success in the mid-sixties, in particular thanks to the pianist, arranger & songwritter, Kunihiko Suzuki who composed several hits of japanese pop featuring Jun Mayuzumi, Sayuri Yoshinaga or Mika Nohira. Titles include rock songs (Black Room, Sharock No.1, Kiiro No Sekai), Jazz tracks (Peacock Baby,  Watashi No Inori) and Brazilian Pop/Bossa Nova tunes (Tsukikage No Rendezvous,  Ame Agari No Samba). A enhanced double CD edition have been released the previous year with 25 tracks (whose the songs presented here) and recorded between 1966-1970.

    01. Black Room / Jun Mayuzumi
    02. Sharock No. 1 / Mie Nakao  
    03. Tsukikage No Rendezvous /  Keiko Mari
    04. Kiiro No Sekai /  J Girls 
    05. Peacock Baby / Reiko Ohara 
    06. Nagisa No Tenshi / Mieko Hirota   
    07. Watashi No Inori  / Rumi Koyama 
    08. Suki Sa Suki Sa Suki Sa / Nana Kinomi & Leo Beats  
    09. Hatsu Koi No Letter  / Miki Obata
    10. Ame Agari No Samba / Ryoko Moriyama 
    11. Taiyou Wa Naite Iru  / Ayumi Ishida 
    12. Koi No Yorokobi / Sayuri Yoshinaga With Schoolmates

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