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
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