MASAHIKO SATOH — Masahiko Satoh Featuring Eddie Gomez And Steve Gadd ‎: As If ...

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MASAHIKO SATOH - Masahiko Satoh Featuring Eddie Gomez And Steve Gadd ‎: As If ... cover
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Album · 1985

Filed under Fusion
By MASAHIKO SATOH

Tracklist

A1 Cajuput Trip
A2 Waltz For Debby
A3 Nardis
A4 Dead End
B1 As If ...
B2 My Foolish Heart
B3 Israel

Line-up/Musicians

Masahiko Satoh — piano, rhythm arrangements
Eddie Gomez — bass
Steve Gadd — drums

About this release

Interface – YF-7100 (Japan)

Recorded and Mixed at Nippon Columbia Studios, Tokyo in February and March, 1985 by using Mitsubishi X-800 Digital Recorder

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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MASAHIKO SATOH MASAHIKO SATOH FEATURING EDDIE GOMEZ AND STEVE GADD ‎: AS IF ... reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Masahiko Satoh is one of leading Japanese progressive jazz pianist and keyboardist for more than four decades. After his music studies in Berklee,he returned to Japan in 1968 and was one of cornerstone figure introducing country to avant-garde jazz. Early seventies was his activities (and popularity) peak leaving us excellent example of Japanese psychedelic avant-garde album "Amalgamation". Unfortunately many of his recordings from early 70s didn't date well.

Satoh switched from radical experimental jazz to fusion somewhere during early eighties,but stayed almost forgotten outside of Japan. In 1980 he released duo album with Puertorican bassist Eddie Gomez "Chagall Blue", but only in 1985 he formed full-size fusion trio with Gomez and drummer Steve Gadd.Japan jazz was always quite self-closed world,so it's not very strange that in mid 80s when US and Europe jazz scenes generally experienced terrible times,Satoh in Japan recorded excellent album of progressive fusion.

Satoh is very technical (and fast) pianist with cold, usually emotionless playing manner (some critics hear him Corea-influenced, but he is more Jarrett-like pianist for my ears).If you know his music from his early avant-garde albums, you will be surprised here - his playing on "As If..." is still well calculated, but he goes lyrical on standards and even swings!Double bassist Eddie Gomez does fantastic job here - his deep physical bass anchors Satoh very free improvs and builds warmer and very jazzy atmosphere. Steve Gadd is sometimes risky choice since he's well-known as powerful but far not subtle drummer, but here his thunder-like work fits well balancing Satoh free-fusion perfectionist piano and deep Gomez acoustic bass grooves.

From eight album's compositions five are standards (including Bill Evans' Waltz For Debby and Miles Davis' Nardis)and three resting - Satoh originals. Satoh strong side always have been his virtuosoes and advanced playing , not composition.This album is great example how great his recordings can be when strong musical material is used.All three musicians are equal partners here still - and the result is really great. Probably less successful moments come from trio trying play some lyrical tunes - it's obviously not their strong side here. But overall - surprisingly fresh,powerful and innovative fusion album coming from mid 80s - you will hardly find something similar recorded at that time outside of Japan.Add album's perfect Japanese acoustic sound mix - if you will be lucky finding this rare release most probably you wouldn't be disappointed.

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