Thursday, August 24, 2017

KOICHI MATSUKAZE TRIO – At The Room 427 (ALM Records / LP-1976)




Label: ALM Records – AL-3002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at Chuo University Hakumonsai on November 21, 1975.
Design By – Yoshimasa Matsuda
Photography By – Masashi Masashiro
Recorded By – Keisuke Yoshida
Record Company – Kojima Recordings, Inc.
Matrix / Runout (Side A matrix): AL-3002-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B matrix): AL-3002-B

A1 - Acoustic Chicken .......................................................................................... 20:02
        Written-By – Ryojiro Furusawa
A2 - Theme Of Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai .................................................................... 7:44
        Written-By – Koichi Matsukaze
B1 - Little Drummer .............................................................................................. 11:31
        Written-By – Koichi Matsukaze
B2 - Lover Man ..................................................................................................... 10:40
        Written-By – David, Sherman, Ramirez
B3 - Theme Of Seikatsu Kojyo Iinkai .................................................................... 1:96
        Written-By – Koichi Matsukaze

Personnel:
Koichi Matsukaze – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Kouichi Yamazaki – bass
Ryojiro Furusawa – drums, percussion




Original rare pressing from 1976 on the highly collectible ALM label, which was also responsible for releasing those Abe Kaoru LP-s and East Bionic Symphonia amongst others. ALM stuff is completely elusive and so hard to find these days, especially those lesser know deities that appeared on the label. Recorded on November 21st 1975, the trio which consists out of Matsukaze Koichi - on alto sax, tenor; Yamazaki Kouichi on bass and Furusawa Ryojiro on drums – make it clear from the start that they are an unrelenting force to be reckoned with. The album dwells into free-jazzing melodic areas similar to the Art Ensemble and middle period Classic Quartet Coltrane as far as the rhythm section is concerned. The opening track has some excellent Elvin Jones’ styles drum and snare ruffings that underscore Matsukaze’s swirling sax lines. Quite intoxicating in its approach, the tune immediately sets the tone for the remainder of the album to unveil itself in. Melodic, yet free and stuffed to bursting with state of the art improvisational interplay of the highest echelon. The trio certainly demonstrates that they fully master their instruments and that they are fully jacked into the current state of free improvisational interplay, which baffles me why they had so little exposure because they were a top class act. The whole LP was recorded live before a small audience in – as the title already suggests – in Room 427, a class room of the Chuo University where Matsukaze and Furusawa were once students. But not let the location fool you, the sound quality is of the highest level and that is all thanks to Mr. Kojima who is a kick ass recording engineer, giving the record a feel like you were sitting on the first bench of the class room. For me personally, this is one of those unsung great free jazz albums to seep out of Japan, a LP that failed to gain any attention, which is so sad. This is brilliantly executed music with a great vibe resonating throughout it, melodic, free, yet at the same time filled with emotion and spine-chilling vaudevillian aesthetic. Limited one time pressing of way back in 1976.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, August 18, 2017

ITABASHI FUMIO TRIO – Toh (Frasco – FS-7011 / LP-1976)




Label: Frasco – FS-7011
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Post Bop
Recorded live at Daichi Seimei Hall, 1st March, 1976.
Design [Cover Design] – Ishikawa Hideomi
Photography By – Uchida Takumi
Engineer [Recording Engineering] – Miyasaka Tsuyoshi
Producer – Honmura Ryohnosuke, Kitazawa Yasutaka
Management [Promoting Staff] – Shimabukuro Akira, Asano Keiko, Itoh Yohichi
Typography [Title Lettering] – Ueda Tadao
Matrix / Runout: (Side A runout, stamped) FS7011A +
Matrix / Runout: (Side B runout, stamped) FS7011B

A1 - Alligator Dance ......................................................................................... 10:49
A2 - Good-Bye ................................................................................................... 9:15
B  -  Toh ........................................................................................................... 19:53

Personnel:
Fumio Itabashi  –  piano
Okada Tsutomu  –  bass
Kusumoto Takuji  –  drums, percussion

Press: NIPPON PHONOGRAM JAPAN 1976 (FS-7011)
Presented by Pitt Inn Music / 1976 Printed in Japan JASRAC




We recently met pianist Fumio Itabashi in "Flush Up" - TAKEO MORIYAMA QUARTET and "Wheel Stone - Live In Nemuro" - TERUMASA HINO (SEPTET). Today I present his album "Toh", the first author project (all compositions written by Fumio Itabashi), released by Frasco Records [FS-7011]. The other two musicians on this LP are superb bassist Okada Tsutomu and excellent drummer Kusumoto Takuji.

Believe me in the word, another extraordinary Japanese ride.



If you find it, buy this album!

MITSUAKI KANNO ORCHESTRA – 武将 [Busho] (LP-1973 / Re-RCA - LP-1976)




Label: RCA – RVL-5506
Series: 日本のJazz 1500 –
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Modal
Recorded in 1970. Originally released by RCA Victor (JRS762) 1973.
RCA - Japan 2nd Pressing – 1976.
Cover Photo & Album Design – Keijiro Kubota
Producer by – Hiroshi Isaka
Engineer by – Tatsuo Umezu
Matrix / Runout (Side A Stamped): JRS-7264-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Stamped): JRS-7264-B

A1 - 武将 [Busho] ......................................................................................... 14:17
A2 - くもの糸 [Kumo No Ito] ........................................................................ 14:40
B1 - 寂光 [Jakko] ............................................................................................ 8:12
B2 - 詩仙堂の秋 [Shisendo No Aki] .............................................................. 11:45

Mitsuaki Kanno 9/8 Orchestra:
菅野光亮      Mitsuaki Kanno  –  piano
羽尾知也      Tomoya Haneo  –  trumpet, flugelhorn
尾山修          Osamu Oyama  –  soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
山川裕之      Hiroyuki Yamakawa  –  tenor saxophone
稲森康利      Yasutoshi Inamori  –  flute / sinobu
光井靖          Yasushi Mitsui  –  guitar
橋本静雄      Shizuo Hashimoto  –  bass
朝倉正展      Masashi Asakura  –  cello, bass
三戸部純一  Junichi Mitobe  –  drums, percussion

Enchanting Japanese jazz album with a spiritual vibe and some freer parts as well, listen to the beautiful "Kumo No Ito" (A2) and "Busho" (A1). Recorded in 1970 and originally released in 1973 as "Shisendo No Aki". This is the rare Japanese 2nd pressing from 1976 (RVL-5506), retitled in "Busho" and with different cover art with OBI and insert.



An interesting story was written in the liner and it was said that it was produced in a bad environment such as: unrecognized record company executives, low budget recording at studio free time, etc...etc. However, the completed music was of high purity which I could hardly believe was created in Japan in 70 years. It seems that it treats "Waka Jazz" cult style like "Busho", "Kumo No Ito", "Jakko", "Shisendo No Aki", only the part of remnantness and restraint that makes me think of the music as a Japanese music, but of course actually, while playing the free & new jazz, the sense of urgency that springs from its inner side is wonderful. There are also impressions such as intellectual avant-garde orchestra / jazz like WATT early Carla Bley. Even though it was almost 50 years ago, realistic sound quality as if it was recorded in the 21st century is amazing.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, August 11, 2017

DOLLAR BRAND - Underground In Africa (LP-1974 / Re-The Sun Records-LP-1979)




Label: The Sun – SRK 786 143
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, 2nd pressing / Country: South Africa / Released: 1979
Original Release: MANDLA ‎– KRS 114 (LP-1974)
Style: Soul-Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Gallo Studios in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, March, 1974.
Painting [Cover] – Hargrawes Nlukwana
Producer – Rashid Vally, Independant Records
Publisher – EKAPA
Composed By – Dollar Brand
Matrix / Runout (Side A, Etched): SRK 786143-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B, Etched): SRK 786143-B

A mega rare and original SOUTH AFRICAN lp release / The Sun pressing!

A  -  Kalahari ....................................................................................................... 23:25
B1 - Ornettes Cornet (In Tribute To Ornette Coleman) ......................................... 5:28
B2 - All Day & All Night Long ............................................................................... 5:30
B3 - Gwidza (In Memory Of Campbel Gwidza) .................................................... 4:50

Personnel:
Dollar Brand – piano, flute
Robbie Jansen – alto saxophone
Basil Coetzee – tenor saxophone [1st], flute
Arthur Jacobs – tenor saxophone [2nd]
[unknown] Special Purpose Artist – marimba
Lionel Beukes – bass [Fender]
Nazier Kapdi – drums, percussion



It's easily my favorite Dollar Brand album. Most of his albums fall into a few different categories. You've got your solo piano albums, your friendly Cape Jazz albums, and some collaborations that could at times go way farther than Brand would go on his own (see his albums with Gato Barbieri, Max Roach, or Archie Shepp). But there are a very rare few where he played with an electric jazz band, and this is one of them. Kalahari's bass groove is massive, and its twenty three minutes are spent in an almost Kraut-y trance of cosmic, serene peace jazz that, and I can't stress enough how important this is, never once gets cheesy or friendly or anything of the sort. It is a blissful, righteous side-long trip.
The other three are a droney meditative piece, a funky jazz groove banger with some more killer bass, and a solo piano piece that spends a great deal of time in an impossibly fast permutation of 9/8.

Keep your spirits up and enter Dollar Brands a masterpiece "Kalahari", taken from his supa rare "Underground In Africa" LP. Mr Brand delivers an epic 23 min long afro jazz monster that from beginning to end sets you in a musical trance.



If you find it, buy this album!

Friday, July 14, 2017

SADAO WATANABE VS TERUMASA HINO (Rec.1969/1970 - Canyon/LP-1980)




Label: Canyon – C20R0034 C
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: Japan / Released: 1980
Style: Contemporary Jazz, Jazz Funk, Free Jazz
(A1, A2) Recorded in January 1969.
( B ) Recorded at Upsurge Studio, New York City, March 1970.
Engineer – Kennichi Handa (A1, A2)
Engineer – Tom Di Pietro ( B )
Remix, Edited By – Kennichi Handa
Cover Design – Mitsuru Yamada
Made By – Canyon Records, Inc.
Matrix / Runout: Side 1 C20R0034 C -A
Matrix / Runout: Side 2 C20R0034 C -B

A1 - Sadao Watanabe Quartet Pastoral ................................................................ 15:00
A2 - Sadao Watanabe Quartet Round Trip [Coming] ............................................ 10:11
           Sadao Watanabe – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
           Yoshiaki Masuo – guitar
           Yoshio Suzuki – acoustic bass, electric bass
           Hirotami Tsunoda – drums, percussion
           guest: Kazuo Yashiro – electric piano, piano

B  -  Terumasa Hino Journey To Air 1 ................................................................... 24:20
           Terumasa Hino – flugelhorn, trumpet 
           Steve Grossman – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, flute 
           Pete Yellin – alto saxophone, flute  
           Gary Pribec – alto saxophone   
           David Liebman – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone  
           Olu Dara – trumpet 
           Mike Garson – piano, electric piano
           Dave Holland – bass, Fender bass
           Lanny Fields – bass, contrabass 
           Teruo Nakamura – bass, contrabass 
           Motohiko Hino – drums, handclaps
           Bobby Moses – drums

It is the 80's planning LP, that coupled the past performances of Japanese jazz pioneer saxophonist Sadao Watanabe and Japan's leading jazz trumpet player Terumasa Hino. Sadao Watanabe in quartet formation, contents that compared the recording work by Terumasa Hino '70 recording work with combo formation.




Japan's jazz where idyllic atmosphere drifts like the title as "Pastoral". "PASTORAL" which became the first album of '69 CBS Sony transferring as organized by Sadao Watanabe, Yoshiaki Masuo , Yoshio Suzuki and Hiro Tsunoda, famous song "Pastoral" which told the opening of the new era, and there is also incredibly goodJazz Funk number "Round Trip [Coming] ".
Terumasa Hino, with the chosen company, saxophone players Steve Grossman, David Liebman, genius trumpeter Ola Dara, pianist Mike Garson, three bassists including Dave Holland, two drummers Motohiko Hino and Bobby Moses will lead us through 24-minute deep free jazz "Journey To Air 1" recorded at Upsurge Studio in New York. (See LP: Group Everything Everything Everything ‎– Hino's "Journey To Air" - Love Records ‎– TP-103).

Very intriguing music. Highly recommended.



If you find it, buy this album!

TERUMASA HINO – Wheel Stone - Live In Nemuro (East Wind / LP-1979)




Label: East Wind – 15PJ-1002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1979
Style: Avant-garde, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded live, April 8, 1975 at the Nemuro-Shi Kohmikan.
Design [Album Design] – Heyqlow Kobayashi
Album Director – Hiroshi Mitsuka, Nobuo Kondoh
Photography By [Back-Cover] – Masakatsu Sasaki
Photography By [Cover] – Fumio Tomita
Engineer – Masayoshi Ohkawa, Toshiaki Kanazawa
Executive-Producer – Toshinari Koinuma
Producer – Kiyoshi Itoh
Liner Notes – Shun-ichi Morita
Matrix / Runout (side A): EW-8065-A 15PJ-1002 - 1
Matrix / Runout (side B): EW-8065-B 15PJ-1002 - 2

A - Mocco .................................................................................................... 21:24
B - In The Darkness .................................................................................... 15:35

Written-By – Terumasa Hino

Personnel:
Terumasa Hino – trumpet, flugelhorn
Hideo Miyata – tenor saxophone
Fumio Itabashi – piano, electric piano
Kiyoshi Sugimoto – electric guitar
Tsutomu Okada – bass
Motohiko Hino – drums
Yuhji Imamura – percussion

A live recording that brought the legendary playing style of Terumasa Hino before he embarked on a national tour 1975. There are two original long tracks in front of us, rhythmic embodiment in the thrilling " Mokko" and "Into the Darkness," recorded in the " live -in-the- concert," format.



A searing performance from this brilliant Japanese trumpeter – working here at the height of his stretched-out, open-ended powers – but with a style that's a bit more inside than some of his work from the start of the 70s! Hino really shows himself to be a great leader here – working with a group that includes Hideo Miyata on tenor, Kiyoshi Sugimoto on guitar, and Fumio Itabashi on some especially great Fender Rhodes and piano – a wonderful player who really gives the album a solid grounding, which then allows the horn players to really soar! Hino's really finding his voice here – growing into one of the best trumpet talents of his generation – and this is his first volume of two, recorded at Nemuro-Shi Kohmikan.



If you find it, buy this album!

TAKEO MORIYAMA QUARTET – Flush Up (LP-1977 / Union Records - Re-1982)




Label: Union Jazz – KUL-5021, Union Records – KUL-5021
Series: Union Jazz 1500 Series – 2nd pressing
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue / Country: Japan / Released: 1982
Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded Live at Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo, in March 1 and 2, 1977.
Originally release 1977 (Teichiku Records ‎– GM-5008)
Made By – Teichiku Records Co., Ltd.
Engineer – Shinichi Kikuchi
Mastered By – Shuji Sakaguchi
Executive-Producer – Toshio Imai
Matrix / side A, Runout: LS - 5333 X1
Matrix / side B, Runout: LS - 5333 X2

A  -  Flush Up .................................................................................................. 18:13
         (Fumio Itabashi)
B1 - Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise .............................................................. 14:59
         (O. Hammerstein II, S. Romberg)
B2 - Yellow Bear ............................................................................................... 8:09
         (Fumio Itabashi)

Personnel:
Takeo Moriyama – drums, percussion
Fumio Itabashi – piano
Tomoki Takahashi – tenor saxophone, sopranino saxophone
Hideaki Mochizuki – bass

Note:
"Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" is a song with music by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II from the 1928 operetta The New Moon.




Drummer Takeo Moriyama recorded a live album in 1977, 1 and 2 March at Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo, the first after the end work with the Yosuke Yamashita Trio.

"Flush Up" and "Yellow Bear" the original songs of Fumio Itabashi who played a musical staff at Takeo Moriyama Quartet during this period. The quartet consists of: drummer Takeo Moriyama, saxophonist Tomoki Takahashi, jazz pianist Fumio Itabashi and bass player Hideaki Mochizuki.
"FLUSH UP" is alongside "HUSH-A-BYE", LP where can fully enjoy the talented masterful performances based on the powerful druming of Moriyama full-length.

A masterpiece of Japanese spiritual jazz.



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

SABU TOYOZUMI/MOTOTERU TAKAGI – If Ocean Is Broken (Rec.1971/2LP-2009)





Label: Qbico – Qbico 95
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition / Country: Italy / Released: 2009
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live in April 1971 at Yasuda Seimei Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
Cover Design – Qbico
Mastered By – Harumi Hayashi
Recorded By – Tanso Watazumi
Matrix / Runout (Runouts A): blue QBICO 95 A
Matrix / Runout (Runouts B): blue QBICO 95 B
Matrix / Runout (Runouts C): red 2 QBICO 95 C
Matrix / Runout (Runouts D): red 2 QBICO 95 D

A - Song For Yoo-Ki Lee ................................................................................. 20:05
B - If Ocean Is Broken .................................................................................... 25:27
C - The Alilan Pass ......................................................................................... 24:10
D - Nostalgia For Che-ju Island ...................................................................... 24:30

Sabu Toyozumi – drums, percussion
Mototeru Takagi – tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet

Limited edition of 200 copies, somewhat modified design, pressed on blue and red vinyl (very rare). Recorded live in April 1971 at Yasuda Seimei Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
In the front cover is photo of Kubira (Shōtora) a Kamakura period sculpture, on the back cover is an image polychromed wood statue of En no Gyoja, also from the Kamakura Period (1185-1333).






Unreleased free jazz from Japan in its prime, recorded live in Tokyo in 1971. Mototeru Takagi already released two beautiful duo LPs back then with master Japanese drummers like Masahiko Togashi (Isolation) and Toshi Tsuchitori (Origination), so this last DLP is complete in a sense the set of duo recorded with the best, 1st generation, free music drummers from Japan. On the other side it's complete also, the duo recorded by Sabu with the greatest reeds player from Japan (still of the 1st generation); being, his various duos with legendary Kaoru Abe, already documented on Qbico (Senzei) and elsewhere. About the music: raw and passionate = primitive beauty; both musicians are in top form and surely in their most creative period. Mr. Takagi plays tenor, soprano sax and bass clarinet, while Sabu is on drums and percussion. Original recordings were very well preserved (fortunately) and the pressing came out wonderful! Cover by qbico which Sabu can really dig, saying that En no Gyoja is deeply respected by him, he opened the way... AND that was his master's guru... (strange coincidences ?!...)
_ Qbico

Shockingly well performed gig. Enjoy!


If you find it, buy this album!

YOSUKE YAMASHITA TRIO – Chiasma (MPS Records / BASF - LP-1976)




Label: MPS Records / BASF – 68.115 / 20 22678-6
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: W. Germany / Released: 1976
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded live June 6, 1975 at the Heidelberger Jazztage.
Cover Design By – Horst Weber
Photography By [Reverse Side] – Ralph Quinke
Recorded By [Engineer] – Carlos Albrecht
Mixed on Tonstudio Bauer
Produced By – Horst Weber
Sleeve Notes [Translation] – Thomas Fitterling
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): A 1(lying) 0022 678 S 1 3 20
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): A 1(lying) 0022 678 S 2 3 20

Exactly like release 20 22678-6 but with a sticker MPS - 68.115 on the back side cover (upper right corner), red label MPS/BASF release.

A1 - Double Helix ................................................................................................. 4:24
A2 - Nita ............................................................................................................... 4:51
A3 - Chiasma ....................................................................................................... 7:14
B1 - Horse Trip .................................................................................................... 3:44
B2 - Introhach ...................................................................................................... 4:05
B3 - Hachi .......................................................................................................... 12:50

Yosuke Yamashita – piano
Akira Sakata – alto saxophone – Akira Sakata
Takeo Moriyama – drums, percussion

Leader & founded by pianist Yosuke Yamashita, most references encountered refer to him as “The Japanese Cecil Taylor”! Taylor has clearly been a tremendous inspiration for Yosuke who has frequently eulogized him & lavished his idol with the highest of adulation as well as sharing at least one performance together. But Yosuke & indeed his trio are no epigone or second-rate plagiarists. Paired with long time affiliate saxophonist Akira Sakata, an absolute madman of screaming, implacable excoriation, manic instability & one of the most truly ferocious, precise & demolishingly devastating drummers of all time Takeo Moriyama, they unleash an unimaginably ascetic sustained avalanche of bellicosity & divine-wrath of mythical man-beast mensuration. like martial-deities, they foment an allo-secular degree of extremes, urgency, threat & sybaritic smouldering impetuosity & emotion-lead rampageous incandescence.




YYT-Akira Sakata One of the things so exciting & precious about these guys is their commitment to doing battle in the outer-limits, as in do-or-die, foot through the floor fulgurous-ferocity. There’s just no fucking around, they ALWAYS deliver, & their over-spilling magnanimity & direct & staunchly substantial application renders that charred, direct-hit satisfaction. More than anything actually, the most consecutive, tremulous & assaulting component is Takeo, who only seems to be interested in “going for guts” & enforcing his speed-fixated, mesomorphic fanaticism & budo enhanced (surely?) power, consistently collapsing the foundries & throwing their severed pieces in a million directions. His power, stamina & fury are legendary phenomenology, but also his punctilious & tight playing, with clean & vicious rolls galore shredding adversaries & obstacles. The guy even looks the part, like notorious 1960’s psycho lone gangster actor Bunko Sugiwara, aviators, Buddhist crop, flaccid fag lolling out his chops á-la tepodama-hoodlum & attire to match (perhaps a tanto in the waist-line?!). Takeo is the only member that never seems to contrite or enact remission, he’s just always killing it & enmeshes intensity even on the very rare slower/para sections. As for Sakata, this guy makes the sax screel like a banshee, constantly bursting the nerve with those high pitched strained screamers & super-fast prismic- paracemes. YYT-Takeo Moriyama He endows some of the most emotive & non-rational imprecation to edge-up the instability. & of course we have Yosuke himself, definitely the most dynamic member who sometimes rides the current & plays a series of variables (rather than solely erratic & fast) & fractal techniques. When not careening all over the keys with his cohorts rankled & rash explosives, he mangles many forms of vaguely traditional & melodic motives with the drastic & dissolute free-form of aggressive improvisation & Avant-Garde. Together at full reciprocity velocity, these philippic conflagrating aiguilles of remorseless jocund excess, tearing through like some kind of biblical storm, bursting & inspissating with over-abundance & splendorous savagery just chop the blocks like nobody’s business. Amazing! & one of the best & most intense Off-Road Free Jazz experiences available...

Note:
Versions of “Chiasma” also occur on three of LP records (Clay, Frozen Days & the Up-To Date) as well as two alternative takes of “Double Helix”.



If you find it, buy this album!