MASAHIKO SATOH 佐藤允彦 — Masahiko Satoh Trio : Transformation '69/'71

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MASAHIKO SATOH 佐藤允彦 - Masahiko Satoh Trio : Transformation '69/'71 cover
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Album · 1971

Tracklist

A1 Tigris (Satoh) - 7:15
A2 On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever) (Lane) - 7:51
B1 Transformation Part I (Satoh-Arakawa-Togashi) - 15:13
B2 Transformation Part II (Satoh-Arakawa-Togashi) - 3:41

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Yasuo Arakawa
Percussion – Masahiko Togashi
Piano – Masahiko Satoh

About this release

Express/Toshiba ETP-9041 (Japan)

Recorded March 17 & 20, 1969 (A1-A2) and March 2, 1971 (B1 - B2)

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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MASAHIKO SATOH 佐藤允彦 MASAHIKO SATOH TRIO : TRANSFORMATION '69/'71 reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Almost all of Japanese pianist Masahiko Sato's albums were released solely in Japan which means they are not easily accessible in the Western world. For those interested in the best Japanese jazz, his name is probably heard, but the problem is where to start with his prolific discography.

Being one of the very best Japanese jazz pianists of the last half-a-century (the other equal name is Yosuke Yamashita), Sato released plenty of albums, and they all are quite different stylistically. He was one of the leading stars of the early Japanese avant-garde jazz scene, switched towards fusion later, returned back to freer forms, collaborated with more modern electronics wizards, etc, etc.

Still, if you are new to his music, and want to chose the one album where to start, "Transformation '69/'71" is the place.

Side A is recorded in 1969 and the music is excellent post-bop, groovy and elegant, with Sato's original "Tigris" being almost a jazz standard level song.

Side B is recorded with the same trio (including another Japanese avant-garde jazz scene legend drummer Masahiko Togashi and more straight and lesser known acoustic bassist Yasuo Arakawa), but two years later. The album's title comes from those two session dates and the second one is polarly different from the first one.

Still with some beauty and grace, the trio here plays knotty jazz with lots of air inside. As it is characteristic almost exclusively to early avant-garde jazz, being a free form music here radiates some spiritual energy and doesn't sound as formalistic experiment at all. It's interesting that "cosmic" effects on side B are produced by Togashi percussion, not early synth.

It doesn't evidence Satos' evolution from mainstream towards free jazz though, since during these same few years he played very different music (the good example of his r'n'b / jazz rock album is 1970 "Bridge Over Troubled Water").

This short (less than 35 minutes) album is a quintessence of Satoh's music, and it's sound quality is extremely high even for so high raised Japanese jazz recordings sound standards of the early 70s. Original vinyl is a rarity, but 2011 CD reissue (of same excellent crisp sound) being out of press still circulates on secondary market.

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