Tuesday, November 24, 2015

KOSUKE MINE QUINTET – Mine (LP-1970 / re-1972)

Label: Three Blind Mice – 15PJ-1021
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo / Country: Japan / Released: 1972
Originally released in 1970, (TBM-1)
Style: Hard Bop, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Aoi Studio, Tokyo on August 4 and 5, 1970.
Art Director – Ben Nishizawa
Photography By [Cover] – Naoki Baba
Producer – Takeshi "Tee" Fujii
Recording Engineer – Katsuo Ohkawara
Assistent Engineer – Yoshihiko Kannari

A1 - Morningtide (K. Mine) ...................................................... 13:09
A2 - Isotope (J. Henderson) .................................................... 12:18
B1 - Dream Eyes (H. Ichikawa) ............................................... 13:56
B2 - Work I (H. Ichikawa) .......................................................... 9:09

Kosuke Mine – ato saxophone, soprano saxophone
Takashi Imai – trombone
Hideo Ichikawa – el. piano (Fender Rhodes)
Takashi Mizuhashi – contrabass
Hiroshi Murakami – drums, percussion

This album is the first album released on the label Three Blind Mice - TBM-1 / 1970 (my Kosuke Mine is a second pressing, reissue of the 1972, LP / TBM - 15PJ-1021), Japanese label whose ambition was to illustrate the creativity and excitement of Japanese jazzmen at the time. Under the leadership of passionate Takeshi "Tee" Fujii, TBM has quickly established a catalog of some 130 publications, ranging from the sharp cutting edge to the more traditional bop. The logo for the little mouse decked out in dark glasses has been well adorn the first discs of artists also essential that Masabumi Kikuchi, Masaru Imada, George Otsuka, Terumasa Hino, Honda Takehiro, Hideto Kanai, George Kawaguchi, Isao Suzuki, Shuko Mizuno, Nobuo Hara, and so on. Apart attention paid to the extreme in the bill of his vinyls (design attention, thick cardboard covers, pressings with very good behavior, inserts - some albums, as both Jazz Orchestra Shuko Mizuno going so far include fac simile partitions in a booklet, ...), TBM has built a reputation for its audiophile quality sound recordings (incidentally, the equipment used and the disposal of musicians in sessions are precisely documented on inserts), like his compatriots Audio Lab, East Wind, Flying Disk, Why Not, Denon, etc. Part of the catalog is republished today and Hybrid CD (SACD). If in addition, we have the chance of getting an edition still wearing her obi (colored paper strip serving as a kind of "belt" vertical disk), it then has a very unique purpose for which it will take all. The same often put their hands in the pocket ... (we'll talk about fetishism another time!)

Kosuke Mine (photo by Akihiro Takayama)

Mine "Morningtide" opens with a beautiful piece modal waves introduced by the Fender Rhodes and a steady beat on bass. Then the sweeping melody saxophone / trombone while the battery marks the rhythm rimshot. The theme is particularly successful, and swelling in waves, combined with the Fender Rhodes rightly evokes the atmosphere of the title (the morning tide). The end of the theme, which reminds me Julien Lourau. Soon enough, things get removed with the chorus Kosuke Mine that grows every sentence in a very fluid style to the extreme. When comes the turn of Ichikawa, things calm down while the battery plays nuance, power amount, before getting back down again, with a nifty work to cymbals. Murakami then muscle his game in a breakbeat on the edge of funky. Fender Rhodes whose new theme emerges again with confidence. Then it happens a weird thing: the song crashes (at first I thought there was a crash in the pressing level, but the same thing happens to the copy of Mr V.) before returning to zero. End in fade out (fully justified).

"Isotope" composed by Joe Henderson, slice in a hard bop style with a spiritual touch brought by Fender Rhodes. Kosuke Mine says its rather personal style, having digested his duly Parker and Coltrane: quite muscular, virtuoso, with phrases that seek, bypassing and eventually find. Very articulate, very readable, it also offers enough soulful moments and throughout the chorus flat shadow of the theme, demonstrating a good understanding of the game. What is incredible here is that what I said just before the solo Mine applies exactly the chorus Ichikawa, which takes also part of his instrument "funkisant" a little all by agreements in syncope. Chorus very energetic drums, toms favoring. Towards the end, just when one believes discern the theme again, everyone moves on ... the theme, precisely!

The two pieces of side B are in tune with the previous one, with a feeling that would not deny an Art Blakey.

"Dream Eyes", Kosuke Mine's alto sax is more striking while retaining its specificity and complementarity with Ichikawa, the composer, is perhaps even more evident if possible. Then the rhythmic generously indents to make room for a paperclip that is struggling a bit to convince despite some nice stunts. The transition to the chorus of Fender Rhodes is also rendered a tad laborious, but quickly, Ichikawa gets over volubly and a delicacy that's good to hear, when the battery starts to join shortly before his solo. Many skin again, and relatively little bronze. To finish, the theme is dissected, disjointed, broken and recomposed very pleasing way.

Small parkerienne flavor for "Work 1", very melodious theme and nested together played sax and trombone. The latter is more inspired on the chorus that follows, although it is still entitled to a few parasites trial and error, and other phrases cul-de-sac. The real wealth is the Mine's soprano with this amazing syncretism mentioned above and many agility. It's really the anti-pop, it never quite took off, but frustrating to me, Mine delights me. Chorus of Imperial Fender Rhodes again. Mizuhashi agrees to take for the first time in front of the stage time to a good organic chorus which proceeds in small steps and creeping reptile and opens to the final reprise of the theme.

It will be understood, Kosuke Mine and his quintet won a well deserved 10, with an album that, while proposing a kind of synthesis, also opens new perspectives. As such, opt for a Fender Rhodes rather than an acoustic piano is proving a real good idea. The three different composers are heard very distinct universe, but I still remember a uniformity in the interpretation. Other times I have listened Mine were really overwhelmed me, and it is regrettable that the records of guy who always so impressively blows in his saxophone, are so difficult to find, and so expensive (at this time, his First album with Philips with Masabumi Kikuchi is trading at 300 US $ on eBay!).

The text was translated from French and adjusted for the purposes of this blog.
I apologize for the spelling mistakes :)

If you find it, buy this album!


  1. KOSUKE MINE QUINTET – Mine (LP-1970/re-1972)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork


  2. thanks a lot, dear Vitko, for your kindly gift.

    1. Dear A H, enjoy! :) ... and thanks for your comments.

  3. The neverendless japanese 70s excellent music! Thanks again.

  4. Thanks Vitko I got the CD but keen for a vinyl rip

  5. Thank you for the cool review Mr.Vitko.
    Javier Roz really said it all