KAZUTOKI UMEZU
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion / Avant-Garde Jazz / Jazz Related Improv/Composition / Hard Bop • Japan

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Kazutoki Umezu is generally considered a jazz musician, but the scope of his playing goes far beyond this characterization, and in many directions. He has played sax and clarinet, often inventively improvising, in a wide range of situations and in more than 35 different countries. Two of his stated influences are Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Eric Dolphy, but many others can be heard in his music. Umezu was born and raised in the city of Sendai, and began studying music from an early age. While still attending Kunitachi Music College, he made his first recording with his band Seikatsu Kojou Iinaki. In 1974 he relocated to New York and began playing with musicians like Lester Bowie, Oliver Lake, Sunny Murray, Ted Daniels and Rashid Ali. When he returned to Japan in 1976 he reformed Seikatsu Kojou Iinakai, and made two albums. At the same time he continued to explore other read more...
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First DeserterFirst Deserter
Knitting Factory 1997
Audio CD$4.93
$4.99 (used)
First Deserter by Kazutoki Umezu (1997-09-16)First Deserter by Kazutoki Umezu (1997-09-16)
Knitting Factory Works
Audio CD$29.81
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KAZUTOKI UMEZU ECLECTICISM 1993 KNITTING FACTORY MARC RIBOT SAMM BENNETT FREE JZ KAZUTOKI UMEZU ECLECTICISM 1993 KNITTING FACTORY MARC RIBOT SAMM BENNETT FREE JZ USD $5.00 (0 bids)
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Kazutoki Umezu Eclecticism (CD, Aug-1994, Knitting Factory Works) Marc Ribot Kazutoki Umezu Eclecticism (CD, Aug-1994, Knitting Factory Works) Marc Ribot USD $24.99 Buy It Now 19 days
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KAZUTOKI UMEZU Discography

KAZUTOKI UMEZU albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai : This Is Music Is This!?
Avant-Garde Jazz 1979
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai : Dance Dance Dance
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bamboo Village
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Another Step (with Mal Waldron)
Hard Bop 1982
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Doctor Umezu Band & Kiyoshiro ‎: Danger
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1982
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Doctor Umezu band : Dynamite
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Doctor Umezu band : Do-Guwaw !
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Doctor Umezu Band ‎: Eight Eyes And Eight Ears
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Doctor Umezu Band (DUB) : D
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kinema
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shin Myong
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
First Deserter
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1995
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Desert in a Hand
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Dancing Winds
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pandora's Cocktail
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kiki
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Umezu Kazutoki Kiki Band: Land Dizzy
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Play Time (with Vladimir Volkov)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band: Dowser
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Show the Frog
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kazutoki Umezu Kiki Band: Demagogue
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays the Enka
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Chrysalis' Dream
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2010
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Umezu Kazutoki KIKI Band : Coyote
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2013
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Face Off
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2016
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Amatsu-Kitsune
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2017

KAZUTOKI UMEZU EPs & splits

KAZUTOKI UMEZU live albums

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Umezu-Harada Duo: Danke
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Doku Ume Band Plays: Deluxe At Sagae
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1981
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dr. Umezu Band: Live At Moers Festival
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kazutoki Umezu + Tom Cora : Abandon
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1988
.. Album Cover 4.52 | 4 ratings
Eclecticism
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greeting from Africa
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Umezu Kazutoki Kiki Band: Live at Moers Festival
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Umezu Kazutoki Kiki Band: Alchemic Life
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2008

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KAZUTOKI UMEZU Reviews

KAZUTOKI UMEZU Another Step (with Mal Waldron)

Album · 1982 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Sax player Kazutoki Umezu came on Japanese jazz scene too late to participate in explosive introduction of free jazz in 1969-71.As a musical student he spent mid-70s in States playing around in New York lofts. Oliver Lake,Lester Bowie and David Murray were his influences. Still being a student he formed his first band Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (with bassist William Parker and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah among others), which recorded three loft-type free jazz albums. After return to Japan in 1976 Kazutoki tried to find a place for adventurous improvisational music what wasn't easy - it was a time of j-pop and j-fusion.

His first album as leader "Bamboo Village" was recorded in trio format (with legendary free-jazz percussionist Masahiko Togashi and American bassist David Friesen)and contained still same free jazz - no surprise it haven't been noticed in year 1980.Probably it pushed Kazutoki to quite unusual step - two years later he formed quartet with cult status in Japan having pianist Mal Waldron and recorded collection of five standards (incl."'Round Midnight")!"Another Step", Japan-only released album, stays Kazutoki's only hard bop album till now.

It would be not really correct to speak about "Another Step" as true mainstream album though. Differently from first generation Japanese free-jazzers known by their noisy,scratchy and often brutal,rock-influenced sound, Kazutoki's playing is closer to bluesy and tuneful free-bop.

"Another Step" was obviously oriented on traditional Mal Waldron's music Japanese listener and didn't add popularity to Kazutoki.Soon he will switch towards really new sound - mixing rock,avant-garde jazz,fusion,klezmer and funk - and will become the leading sax player of Japanese post-fusion generation.

KAZUTOKI UMEZU Eclecticism

Live album · 1993 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Eclecticism is not only the name of this album, but the name of this great Japanese reeds player Kazutoki Umezu's project as well. And it would be hard to find a better name for them and their music.

Kazutoki Umezu played in NY downtown in 70s for some years, than lived in Japan and returned in NY back again in early 90s.His Eclecticism project is a result of his collaboration with excellent guitarist Marc Ribot and all the team of John Zorn-related NY avant jazz musicians. Recorded live in Knitting Factory, this album radiates the atmosphere of time and the place!

Most interesting thing with this album's music it is a mature and organic mix of Japanese high energy brutal avant with melodic Zorn-like NY sound. For many listeners Japanese improvisational music associates with Ruins/ Yoshida Tatsuya's brutal and noisy sound attacks.This album is very different: being still very high loaded ,there are plenty of melodies ( obviously Zorn's influence on "Italian movie soundtrack" "Western Picaro" or reworked waltz on "Ballet Dancer"),many different rhythms (from Klezmer to swing)and all music is very bright,various and ... positive!

Besides of Umezu, the other album's star is Marc Ribot: this quirky music and freaky party atmosphere is excellent place for his crunchy sound. But in fact all musicians are of highest level (they all come from Marc Ribot/John Zorn different projects).

Recorded material comes from live show ( October 27, 1992) at NY Knitting Factory and dedicated public adds even more fun for playful atmosphere. Excellent release for NY downtown music fans!

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