Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. An aggressive bit of funky fusion – a set that matches the talents of Japanese trumpeter Shunzoh Ohno with some hip American grooves from Reggie Lucas on guitar, Cedric Lawson on keyboards, Don Pate on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums! The sound is very full-on – in a mid 70s Miles Davis electric mode, but with perhaps a bit more of a funk touch on the best cuts – almost a refinement of the groove that Miles hit in Japan, fusing the energy into some great tunes that really pack a sharp punch! Haynes' drums are surprisingly heavy at points – and titles include "You Dig That?", "But It's Not So", and "I Remember That It Happened".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. The intimate nature of the title is very apt on this one – as the album features spare duets between drummer Masahiko Togashi and other Japanese musicians – including the great Sadao Watanabe on flute, and either Masahiko Satoh and Masabumi Kikuchi on piano! The sound is open, and sometimes a bit free – but in a way that's very inventive, and never too overpowering – as Togashi finds a way to really keep things grounded, and work in the best collaborative spirit with each musician. A real standout on the East West catalog of the 70s – and titles include "Haze", "Fairy Tale", "Song For Myself", and "Song For My Friends".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. A pretty great little fusion set from saxophonist Sam Morrison – as slinky, sloping, and seductive as the title – and a record that might have been right at home on CTI! The album features all original tunes by Morrison – played with a very cool group that includes Al Foster on drums, Buster Williams on bass, Mike Wolf on Fender Rhodes and acoustic piano, and Ryo Kawasaki on guitar. Morrison shifts effortlessly between soprano, flute, and tenor – working in a mode that's choppy, but never too over the top – dancing along in a lyrical, soulful mode! Titles include "Wonder", "Dune", "Song Of Landa", and "I Knew It Right Away".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. This album from 1976 is widely considered as one of the best, if not THE best, four-beat jazz albums by Sadao Watanabe, the legendary Japanese saxophonist. Watanabe went to New York, met with the original Great Jazz Trio – Hank Jones, Ron Carter and Tony Williams – before the super-group became well-known for its superb recordings.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. A tremendous little album from pianist Don Friedman – a trio session, but one that's cut with a mixture of Fender Rhodes and electric bass, which gives the album a majestically soulful groove! Friedman's never sounded better, and the record is easily one of his best – with a sound that matches the best CTI sides of the time, colored by the freedoms of the Japanese recording scene of the 70s – territory that Don never hit this strongly again, and which makes the record a really unique outing, quite diferent than both his early work and later sides. The group features Lyn Christie on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums – and titles include "Paula's Wish", "Canvas On My Mind", "Lullaby For Lynne", "Hope For Tomorrow", and "A Place Within".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. With Art Farmer's phenomenal output of recordings as a leader during his long career, it isn't surprising to run across obscure gems such as this pair of 1975 studio sessions recorded in New York for release in Japan by Eastwind. Joined by frequent collaborator Cedar Walton on piano, as well as bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins, the mellow flugelhornist excels on the ballads that make up the majority of the album.
Later than Sadao Watanabe's classic period, but a great album with some really wonderful moments! The set was recorded live in Tokyo in 1975, and it features Watanabe working with a group that includes Isao Suzuki on bass, Yshiaki Masuo on guitar, and Takehiro Honda on piano. The four tracks are all long, with some of the searching Coltrane-ish playing that Watanabe brought to his earlier Sony albums, but they've also got a fair bit of the warmth he was reaching for during the 70s – combining elements of world jazz styles into a mode that really pushed his work on alto and flute. Titles include "Pamoja", "Vichakani", and "Musitoni".
One of the greatest sessions ever recorded by Ronnie Mathews – an excellent soul jazz pianist who's working here in a mode that's similar to that of Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, or other 70s lyrical giants! Mathews' touch on the keys is incredible – at one moment extremely sensitive and pensive, at another racing forward with a searing searching spirituality that's driven on by the bass of Yoshio Suzuki and the drums of Louis Hayes – a great rhythm duo who really help give the record a very special, unique feel. The album features the original compositions "Ichiban", "K's Waltz", and "Jean-Marie" – plus a great version of "Manha Do Carnaval", which features Mathews on Fender Rhodes!
Reissue with DSD remastering. A real lost treasure from trumpeter Terumasa Hino – a warm and wonderful live set, and one that's neither too free, nor too smooth – just perfectly set up right down the middle to open up on these beautiful long performances! The lineup is all Japanese – a great array of players that includes Shigeharu Mukai on trombone, Hideo Miyata on tenor, Sadao Watanabe on alto sax, Motohiko Hino on drums, and Fumio Itabashi on Fender Rhodes – part of a slightly larger ensemble who can be tight at times, but still allow plenty of room for open freedom on the solos. Hino's only part of the picture, as the other soloists get in some great space too – and the set includes the 23 minute groover "Logical Mystery", the long soulful original "In The Darkness", and a sweet mellow take on "Round Midnight".
A warm and soulful set of fusion tracks – issued only in Japan, but recorded by a hip group from the US! Air Pocket features the Fowler Brothers – Walt, Bruce, Ed, and Steve – on trumpet, trombone, bass, and alto, respectively – plus drummer Chester Thompson, guitarist Mike Miller, and pianist Stu Goldberg, who really plays some great moog, clavinet, and electric keys on the set! Tunes are well-written – a bit choppy, but never too jamming, and really just done in this nice blocky way that creates a slightly funky approach, and a good degree of soul. Titles include "Elephant's Graveyard", "Hi Lo Redic", "Colors For Marvin", "Night's Move", and "Becky".