YOSHIO SUZUKI — Friends

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YOSHIO SUZUKI - Friends cover
3.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 1973

Filed under Post Bop
By YOSHIO SUZUKI

Tracklist

A1 Friends 11:10
A2 The Past 12:07
B1 Burning Point 8:23
B2 K's Waltz 10:43
B3 Samba De Chico 4:07

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Yoshio Suzuki
Drums – Hiroshi Murakami
Flute – Hideo Miyata (tracks: B3)
Piano – Takehiro Honda
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Kohsuke Mine

About this release

CBS Sony SOPL 192 (Japan)

Recorded at CBS/SONY No.1 Studio, Tokyo, May 10,11, 1973

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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snobb
Former Sadao Watanabe bassist Yoshio Suzuki's solo debut album is an essential example of what Japanese jazz of that time is. High energy mid to fast tempo perfectly executed compositions (all - Suzuki originals) that are well played and even better recorded in a warm wood sound fashion of the audiophile dream of the time, Three Blind Mice Records.

Five compositions played by the Suzuki quartet (with the addition of flutist Hideo Miyata on Samba De Chico) are characteristic transitional from post bop to acoustic fusion pieces with bop rhythmic structures and rock band energy.

Sax player Kohsuke Mine is in his best form (few months later he will release his probably best ever album "Out Of Chaos" in a very similar style), pushing the music ahead with his soulful but high energy soloing. Suzuki acoustic bass is competent, if not too original, drummer Hiroshi Murakami (Masabumi Kikuchi band's member for years) is A-list collaborator and pianist Takehiro Honda is another star on his own a member of Sadao Watanabe's quartet at the time of this album's release).

After four more traditional pieces (each between eight and ten minutes long), the album's closer is different - "Samba De Chico" represents an early fusion take on Latin jazz, adding a guest flutist soloing over the whole composition. It is the least successful song on the album, where a too fast tempo destroys authentic Latin music beauty converting it to not too impressive soundtrack for Taco advert.

To be a really great album, the music here probably lacks more compositional originality, but "Friends" is still a really good album and could be recommended for those enjoying Kohsuke Mine's early works.

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