Three Blind Mice Blu-spec CD reissue series! Limited paper sleeve edition! Now's The Time captured two groups who performed at the Three Blind Mice's own jazz festival called "5 Days in Jazz 1974." The first group was the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio with guest soloists Isao Suzuki on cello and Sunao Wada on guitar. They performed two songs on Side A of the original vinyl LP.
Three Blind Mice Blu-spec CD reissue series. Limited paper sleeve edition. With his stunning debut album Blow Up in 1973, bassist Isao Suzuki quickly became a star musician in the roster of the Three Blind Mice label. Ako's Dream was his seventh album, and as the jacket and the title suggest, it is dedicated to his young baby girl named Ako.
During the 70s, the Japanese jazz scene was in an incredibly intense phase - one that had players breaking out of older modes that were often strict copies of American jazz, and working in newer styles that often blended soul, modal, and spiritual jazz with freer-thinking ideas and more Eastern-inspired modes. The result was an incredible batch of music that was probably more strongly recorded by the Three Blind Mice label than any other Japanese imprint - because unlike some of their contemporaries, TBM didn't fill their catalog with work by American players, and often focused exclusively on Japanese artists.
Listeners familiar with any of Masaaki Suzuki's many Bach recordings for BIS are likely to know what to expect from his recording of the Well-Tempered Klavier Book II: immaculate playing, impeccable taste, and immediate sound. Perhaps best-known internationally for his series of recordings of Bach's cantatas and other sacred works, Suzuki started his career as a superlative keyboard player, and as his performance here on the harpsichord demonstrates, he has kept his skills well-honed.
While one might reasonably prefer this, that or the other recording of Bach's "Goldberg" Variations, one should still take the time to listen to this 1997 recording of the work played on the harpsichord by Masaaki Suzuki on BIS. For one thing, Suzuki is the conductor of BIS' series of Bach Cantata recordings and it is interesting to hear what he can do on his own without other musicians as intermediaries.
Following his magnificent recording of J.S. Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias for BIS last year, the Japanese harpsichordist/organist/conductor Masaaki Suzuki here offers more revelatory performances of some of Bach's equally well known (as well as some lesser known) masterpieces. With this collection, simply titled Fantasias & Fugues, Suzuki provides a grand overview of Bach's lifelong sporadic exploration of the Fantasia genre.
Listeners familiar with other recordings in Masaaki Suzuki's ongoing traversal of Bach's solo keyboard works may find his performances of the Partitas somewhat of an anomaly. For instance, the sharply delineated juxtapositions of tempos that made his Fantasias and Fugues program so thrilling (type Q3840 in Search Reviews) are nowhere to be heard here. The interpretive agenda this time is much subtler and decidedly more introverted.
Those who've heard Masaaki Suzuki's patient, reflective journey through Bach's Partitas will find similar traits in his recordings of the French Suites. At first the breathing spaces and tiny caesuras in the Allemandes and Sarabandes strike a precious pose. Listen again, though, and you realize that Suzuki is phrasing from a singer's perspective, undoubtedly influenced by his experience conducting the Bach Passions and Cantatas.