Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Be Hard Bop - Ciné Jazz

Let me take you on a cinematic journey through an original soundtracks selection from USA & Japan passing by Europe, including various popular themes of Blaxploitation (Coffy, Shaft), crime films (Get Carter), television series (Sanford & Son) or others tracks inspired. It features Jazz & Soul musicians among others James Brown, J.J. Johnson, The Blackbyrds, Quincy Jones, Roy Budd, Akira Ishikawa, Riz Ortolani, Giovanni Tommaso, Roy Ayers, Grant Green, Curtis Mayfield & More...All tracks recorded between 1966 & 1978.

Compiled & Mixed by Be Hard Bop 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd - New Herd

Year : 1974
Label : TBM
Genre : Jazz
Style : Jazz Funk, Big Band, Contemporary Jazz

Recorded straight away after their live performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1974, the "most wanted" eponymous album of Miyama, is played in the same way as the Buddy Rich or Woody Sherman big bands, including jazz covers from Miles Davis (Donna Lee), Chic Corea (La Fiesta) and some japanese musical folk expressions (FurisodeKappa Shijo). The Toshiyuki Miyama's New Herd Big Band name was probably given in tribute to the legendary Thundering Herds, formed in the late forties by Woody. New Herd album is a "must-have" cleverly combining Big Band style with Jazz Funk, in particular on the amazing killer groove song "Sniper's Snooze", which inspired Cut Chemist, the interlude track "React" on the third album of Jurassic 5 (Power Numbers). Recorded 27 September 1974 at Aoi Studio, Tokyo.

Toshiyuki Miyama_leader, conductor
Kiyoshi Takano_piano, electric piano
Kozaburo Yamaki_guitar, arranger 
Masaaki Ito_bass
Isao Yomoda_drums
Koji Suzuki, Atsuo Shirai, Mamoru Mori, Seiji Inoue_reeds 
Masamichi Uetaka, Takahide Uchida, Takashi Hayakawa, Teruhiko Kataoka_trombone
Fumio Shirayama, Kazumi Takeda, Shigeru Kamimori, Yoshikazu Kishi_trumpet

01. Theme
02. Donna Lee
03. Sniper's Snoose
04. Furisode (A Long-Sleeved-Kimono)
05. Kappa Shijo (A Poetic Sentiment For A Kappa)
06. La Fiesta
07. Theme


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ryo Kawasaki - Juice

Year : 1976
Label : RCA
Genre : Jazz, Fusion
Style : Jazz Funk
"Juice" is the first official US release of Ryo Kawasaki, a Jazz Funk bijou recorded & mixed in New York in 1976. It shows off one skillful fusion, brilliantly introduced by the track "Raisins" (reminiscent of The Headhunters style), including deep grooves, Boogie Funk with electronic sounds & disco breaks, the aftermath from the James Brown & Herbie Hancock influences. The other titles include the funky climax "East Side Boogie", "The Breeze And I" (a kind of Samba Funk), "El Toro" with its powerful & dynamic beat and "Andes", all under the remarkable pulse from bassist Stu Woods. "Juice" keeps some influences on nowadays music as its recycling, naturally, in the Hip-Hop sphere : thus "Raisins" & "Bamboo Child" were sampled by various contemporary rap artists such as Kool G Rap or Puff Daddy. Furthermore, "Raisins" was also included in the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack, broadcasted on the fictional radio station "Fusion FM" in 2008. All tracks composed & arranged by Ryo Kawasaki, except "The Breeze And I" by Al Stillman & Casado Lecuona.

Ryo Kawasaki_lead guitar
Stu Woods_bass
Jimmy Young_drums
Tom Coster_keyboards, synthesizer
Muhammad Abdullah_percussion
Hugh McCracken_rhythm guitar
Mike Lipskin_percussion, synthesizer
Sam Morrison_saxophones, flute
Andy Laverne_piano

01. Raisins
02. Sometime
03. The Breeze And I
04. East Side Boogie
05. El Toro
06. Bamboo Child
07. Andes


Ryo Kawasaki - Easy Listening Jazz Guitar

Year : 1970
Label : Polydor
Genre : Jazz, Latin Jazz
Style : Contemporary Jazz, Bossa Nova

First leader act by the best known jazz guitarist outside Japan, in a quartet formed with Yuji Ohno, Yoshio Suzuki, Hiroshi Murakami plus arranger Norio Maeda, evolving within a string ensemble. Ryo started in 1967, he was member of the first Jiro Inagaki's Soul Media and evolved in the Sound Limited group, two prominent & prolific Jazz Rock formations in Japan from 1970. During the seventies, he has passed most of his career in US,  where he was able to record several fusion albums to the eclectic styles (whose the renowned "Mirror Of My Mind" released in 1979), exploring Rock 'N' Roll, Funk & Soul, Latin and likewise Indian music & Spanish folk. Settled in New York from 1973, he had the opportunity to play, as sideman, for the most jazz greats among others : Elvin Jones, Chico Hamilton or Cedar Walton. Later, he was recruited by Gil Evans to incorporate his famous orchestra, and thereafter, gained an international reconnaissance. In the mid-80s, Kawasaki turns to the electronic music in conceiving software programs for computers. "Easy Listening Jazz Guitar" includes Bossa Nova songs (I Love You, Sun Samba), pop covers from The Beatles, Burt Bacharach, The Mamas & The Papas, plus various standards by Henri Mancini, Jimmy Webb & Cole Porter

Ryo Kawasaki_guitar
Yuji Ohno_piano
Yoshio Suzuki_bass
Hiroshi Murakami_drums

01. By The Time I Get To Phoenix
02. We
03. And I Love Her
04. G Blues
05. I Love You
06. This Guy's In Love With You
07. The Shadow Of Your Smile
08. Sun Samba
09. Monday Monday
10. Michelle


Monday, January 18, 2016

Isao Suzuki & His Fellows - Touch

Year : 1975
Label : TBM
Genre : Jazz
Style : Contemporary Jazz, Latin Jazz, Jazz Rock

Isao Suzuki & His Fellows featuring Kunihiko Sugano and the prominent leader of the Jazz Rock style during the eighties in japan, guitarist Kazumi Watanabe. Recorded in the late 1975 at Tokyo Epicurus Studio, released under Three Blind Mice label, "Touch" consists in an eclectic selection of styles ranging from Swing, Bossa Nova to Jazz rock (the opening song over 11 minutes with the Kazumi's long guitar riff), all involving various remarkable inspirational grooves from Suzuki. Titles include "Touch" composed by Mr. Suzuki, "On The Trail" from Jazz composer & concertmaster Ferde Grofé, "She's Funny That Way" to the bossa arrangements (based on a original composition of Richard Whiting) with an expanded solo of Kunihiko Sugano, and the representative song of the Thelonious Monk's genius, the jazz standard "Round about Midnight".

Isao Suzuki_bass
Kunihiko Sugano_piano
Kazumi Watanabe & Masayuki Ise_guitar
Yoichi Ogawa_congas
Tetsujiro Obara_drums

01. Touch
02. On The Trail
03. She's Funny That Way
04. Round About Midnight

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