Japanese reeds player Sadao Watanabe is a living country's jazz legend. Started playing in early 60s, he introduced bossa nova to his homeland's listeners and built strong hard bop following there.Starting from late 60s Sadao Watanabe became most internationally popular Japanese jazz musician as well. His early fusion albums are briliant, unfortunately under pressure of time fashion starting from mid 70s Sadao switched to more safe and commercially secure pop jazz which he continues playing till now.
Sadao recorded only few fusion albums but almost all of them are true gems. "Paysages", recorded in 1971 with bassist Gary Peacock and three Japanese musicians, is great example.
Heavily based on another rising Japanese fusion star Masabumi Kikuchi electric piano sound, "Paysages" contains five originals(three Watanabe's, one - Kikuchi's and one Peacock's), all perfectly executed memorable tunes, with solid groove,the music which will make Weather Report or Return To Forever famous very soon.
Not really a Watanabe's album (obviously released under Watanabe's as leader name because of marketing reasons since Sadao for the time of release was way much more known and popular comparing with other members) but solid collective work, "Paysages" is one of the best Japanese fusion albums released ever. Watanabe will leave such music very soon for the favor of more commercial sound, Masabumi Kikuchi will continue releasing albums in similar key and become one of the great star of Japanese fusion.
Classic album of Japanese fusion, must have for everyone interested in genre.