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    Posted: 19 Feb 2020 at 2:41am
There are not plenty big bands in a nowadays cost-efficient world. Modern Times Band, despite of their name, are shamelessly old-fashioned.New album is released today



MODERN TIMES BIG BAND / モダン・タイムス・ビッグ・バンド / Dreamsville / ドリームズビル
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2020 at 11:10pm
Young generation of Japanese jazzmen come with debut album of Gradate band in March'20




gradate / うつろい
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2020 at 11:22pm
smells like 70s.....

Stuff's Rolling Coconut Revue concert recordings from Japan, 1977 just released

STUFF / スタッフ / ROLLING COCONUT REVUE JAPAN CONCERT




Edited by snobb - 21 Jan 2020 at 11:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2019 at 12:14am
Weird but hypnotizing mix of blues,Japanese folk and free improv from piano master Shoji Aketagawa (known as Aketa) recorded live in 2002 and never re-issued. Obscurity of sort


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2019 at 3:43am
Herbie Hancock's early fusion Japan-only album "Direct Step"(recorded in Japan in 1978) is reissued as RSD 2019 release (on vinyl). Take your chance to get the obscure one





Edited by snobb - 05 Dec 2019 at 4:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 11:36pm
That's not all that often one can find an Japanese dub

TAIKOKISSIE & DUB PASSENGERS / Slow Dance in Suburbia


released 2019 September



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2019 at 12:42am
Guys under the long name Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden reissuing their old album "Report From Iron Mountain"(2001). Japanese militarist exotica or future jazz?




DCPRG (Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden) / ディー・シー・ピー・アール・ジー / アイアンマウンテン報告


Edited by snobb - 12 Nov 2019 at 12:44am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2019 at 1:12am
Ambitiously titled Future Jazz Quartet just released their debut "Flying Humanoid" (they like catchy titles, aren't they?) which in realty is more rooted in past than pointing a future

今井晴萌 Harumo Imai (tenor sax)
葭葉愛子 Aiko Yoshiba (pf/key)
磯部直樹 Naoki Isobe (bass)
ボンバロン Von Baron (drums)

Future Jazz Quartet (FJQ) / Flying Humanoid




Edited by snobb - 31 Oct 2019 at 1:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2019 at 11:04pm
new dreamy acoustic trio plus vocalist Emiko Voice album "Blackberry Dreams" just released


EMiKO VOiCE & Phillip Strange / Blackberry Dreams

 
New Truth Records DCD-257


Edited by snobb - 15 Aug 2019 at 11:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2019 at 1:47am
Despite of the name, these guys plays fusion - but use exclusively renown heavy metal songs as raw material






Catch their "Extra Edition" released few months ago
 
NHORHM / エヌ・エイチ・オー・アール・エイチ・エム / NEW HERITAGE OF REAL HEAVY METAL EXTRA EDITION / New Heritage of Real Heavy metal extra edition


Edited by snobb - 05 Aug 2019 at 1:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 1:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 11:29pm
Japan has a new Emperor from now....


celebrating, country unsung guitar hero Masayuki Takayanagi:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2019 at 12:27am
ZEK! - a Japanese piano trio,playing exclusively Led Zeppelin covers, just released their second album




ZEK TRIO / ZEK TRIO(…水く‚‹み-米œ康—-œ” Ÿ) / ZEK!2


Edited by snobb - 26 Mar 2019 at 12:28am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2019 at 11:28pm
One of Japanese greats sax player Kazutoki Umezu's rarity from 1988 "Diva" will be reissued in April 2019 by German Mule Musiq











Edited by snobb - 14 Feb 2019 at 11:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2019 at 12:03am
Continuation of decades lasting Japanese fusion tradition - new Lu7 quartet's album "3395"











Edited by snobb - 25 Jan 2019 at 12:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2019 at 11:51pm
some Japanese artists found inspiration in jazz classics - pianist Taihei Asakawa plays Bill Evans' "Waltz For Debby" and "Sunday At The Village Vanguard" in the same order as original releases did. Double  live album contains his solo piano (against Evans' trio), and Taiheidemosnstrates more avant-garde take on it.







Edited by snobb - 17 Jan 2019 at 11:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2019 at 11:31pm
Salvalai trio's debut announced for upcoming March sounds as it could come from hip Playwright label




SALVALAI / VARIETY / Variety 



Edited by snobb - 17 Jan 2019 at 11:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mediterraneo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 2018 at 7:52pm
Originally posted by snobb snobb wrote:

The topic above comes from year 2010, one of the first year of last world's economical crisis, what partially feels from its mood. Situation is different now, and many things are changed during these 8 yrs, then again - most probably we are not too far from the next world's economical crisis (many experts speak about 2020),so some things are still actual...

Speaking about jazz popularity in general, I can mention some moments about situation in Europe (I believe the situation in States is different). Jazz has never disappeared from European scenes but as everywhere it experiences some ups and downs. Last decade, especially after-crisis time, is quite successful time for jazz in Europe (not only European jazz), but it differs from country to country. 

English jazz scene which has been never before a jazz Mecca (or almost never before, excluding some short periods of early fusion etc) is one of the world's most dynamic jazz places now. Some acts are even commercially enough strong and successful, what is generally a rarity in jazz world.

In general, jazz in Europe is partially successful (or at least alive) mostly because of a) educational moments which build its image as "high art" (on the same or similar level as classic music), not just entertainment and b) financial support from governments in many countries same way as them support classical music

Without above two factors we wouldn't see the picture we have now, and I expect this is a major difference between the situation in Europe and one we have in US or Japan.



I can't make much sense of what you are saying here. Both the US and Europe have different arts funding practices and both have long had many significant festivals whereas Japan barely has had any (and none which reaches major status) for decades now. It is even more odd when one considers that even South Korea and Indonesia do in fact have much more significant jazz festivals than Japan.

You say the situation is different now but the festival situation is no better in Japan in 2018 than it was in 2010.  In fact, last year, one of the two jazz festivals of any significance in Japan (the Blue Note Festival) was cancelled so if anything, it's even worse.

The author of the article at least attempts an explanation for the strange lack of significant jazz festivals for a country with a jazz tradition of some note.


Edited by mediterraneo - 31 Dec 2018 at 2:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 2018 at 4:46am
The topic above comes from year 2010, one of the first year of last world's economical crisis, what partially feels from its mood. Situation is different now, and many things are changed during these 8 yrs, then again - most probably we are not too far from the next world's economical crisis (many experts speak about 2020),so some things are still actual...

Speaking about jazz popularity in general, I can mention some moments about situation in Europe (I believe the situation in States is different). Jazz has never disappeared from European scenes but as everywhere it experiences some ups and downs. Last decade, especially after-crisis time, is quite successful time for jazz in Europe (not only European jazz), but it differs from country to country. 

English jazz scene which has been never before a jazz Mecca (or almost never before, excluding some short periods of early fusion etc) is one of the world's most dynamic jazz places now. Some acts are even commercially enough strong and successful, what is generally a rarity in jazz world.

In general, jazz in Europe is partially successful (or at least alive) mostly because of a) educational moments which build its image as "high art" (on the same or similar level as classic music), not just entertainment and b) financial support from governments in many countries same way as them support classical music

Without above two factors we wouldn't see the picture we have now, and I expect this is a major difference between the situation in Europe and one we have in US or Japan.


Edited by snobb - 30 Dec 2018 at 4:47am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mediterraneo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 8:31pm
Here is the cached version:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-1mHeZyti8YJ:www.jazzinjapan.com/interviews/526-the-moment-for-jazz-is-now.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&lr=lang_en%7Clang_de%7Clang_es%7Clang_fr%7Clang_it%7Clang_pt&client=firefox-b-1


The Moment for Jazz is Now!

Interview with Kazuki Takami
March 31, 2010

Kazuki Takami is A&R and Label Manager at one of Japans best record labels East Works Entertainment. EWE has recorded and promoted some of the very best of Japanese jazz since its inception in 1995. They have developed five distinct labels in that time, spreading out into Latin music, electronic jazz and other inspired music that does not fit easily into simple categories. They focus primarily on Japanese musicians, but include artists from many other countries as well. Their list of straight-ahead jazz is the envy of most other Japan-based major-label companies. EWE has always kept its independent spirit, even as jazz has become both big business and an almost unrecognized art form. The musicians who sign with EWE are the ones most interested in pushing the music forward in unique and engaging ways. In this interview, Takami gives his independent and insiders view of jazz and where it might be headed in the future. If anyone would have an informed opinion on where Japanese jazz might be headed and why, it is Takami.
How would you describe the jazz scene right now, business-wise?

I believe we are in one of the most serious situations I have ever experienced in the music business. We now have to start reconsidering the optimum size of what we have been trying to develop due to digital downloading, free music files on the web, and this worldwide recession. Everything affects the sales of tickets and of CDs. But it seems to me that we have been on the way of slow death of jazz music from years ago in every aspect. This recession may accelerate its death. However, jazz, this form of urban folk music, will have to take a totally different form to survive among the people who enjoy it.

What specific effects does the current economic recession have on jazz?

I am deeply concerned about this recession. It will make us think about the future of jazz based on supply and demand within the optimum scale of the market. That could mean dying. It is clear that the suppliers of jazz, the artists, record companies, concert promoters and others, will not take unnecessary risks now. That means it is harder to update the experience of jazz music anymore. Sometimes I am very skeptical even if the musicians can take risks under this economic pressure. Very few musicians can be imaginative enough to go beyond the walls we are facing. I believe that we all, as artists, producers, agents, and journalists need as many try-outs of possible music as possible to keep our tradition and history alive. We always need what may be useless, but really is still necessary, as practice for the development of jazz. To be practical enough, artists need decent financial support. This has been working and healthy for years in Japan, due to the successful independent record companies like EWE. I am also one of those optimistic A&R people who have been trying to keep this residue of cultural practice as much as I can, through my position. However, I think we are now in danger of losing this kind of freedom, and have to start thinking more about "marketability."

So, the effects of the economic downturn are largely negative for jazz?

Not always. These times also offer great chances for artists of different artistic activities to collaborate together, which may provide a different level of development of the art, much as it used to be in New York, Tokyo, Paris, or London in the 60s, or Argentina in 90s.  But it also depends on how positive the arts can be.

How can artists maintain that positive attitude? Is it just about money? Artistic freedom? A devoted audience?

A devoted audience, and devoted artists, absolutely. A devoted, and sustainable communication among them is very important. It may be invisible, though.
But the communication is always the most important point in performing jazz music. And the ability of improvisation is very important when you communicate with the people. If the improvisation is good enough, the communication will be sustainable. And good communication requires devotion.

So, how do you promote jazz so that it can reach more people?

As you know, jazz musicians live a very humble life. Most of them make a living from the fee from small live houses with 50 to 100 seats. Very few artists can fill the seats of a concert hall, though. I think we failed to promote and develop the artists in jazz enough to be able to fill the 1500 to 2000 seat concert halls. And this failure will bring some serious damage to jazz. It may spoil the fundamentals of the jazz business. I guess people with concert business will start giving up on the idea of jazz concerts altogether.

Already, many of the jazz festivals in Japan have disappeared.

Since the mid 90s, there has been no jazz festival in Japan that is internationally known. Tokyo Jazz could be the only one. We now have no jazz festival tourism like in Europe and the USA. There may be some reasons why we could not maintain the healthy potential in the concert business of jazz. It is partially because of such jazz clubs like Blue Note or Billboard, which offer food and music with very expensive price, but with only 300 seats. We should have made as many people come to see jazz concerts as possible, not for food and drinks, but for the music itself.

That lack of an ongoing public will have an effect on the future of jazz, too, right?

I guess the standard, or optimum price of the ticket, CDs, and everything has started falling. I heard some event planners say people nowadays just stay home, but I do see many people coming to concerts and live venues. And still we have many concerts on the list to go, though many of them were originally planned last year. We are still enjoying the ghosts from 2008. But at the end of that list, I am not sure if we still have something to enjoy.

So, why dont more people listen to jazz? What is holding them back?

In Tokyo, jazz is like air. If you go to a Japanese bistro, or izakaya, you may find jazz is always is on the air inside the restaurant. People here dont need to go listen to it. It is always there. Jazz is just an ambient sound for Japanese people now. And also, in our history of learning music here, popular music is put in the second position to classical music. Still, popular music is inside the form of classical music, and is always outside of music literacy. And there are very few jazz artists from foreign countries. Not only jazz but all other music is hidden inside our same appearance. We need more exotic encounters with many things.

In Japan, many jazz fans only like traditional styles of jazz. How can they learn to listen to more cutting edge music?

Well, Japan has imported many kinds of music from foreign countries. We have totally different skill of enjoying and producing the music. There are still many record stores here. And Japanese musicians are also very good listeners of those different kinds of music. They are like very skillful buyers of music, in a sense. Jazz has been very open to every possible idea. So if you are very good listener of jazz by good Japanese musicians, you may find yourself very far from the traditional style of jazz. The cutting edge music does not always mean jazz, but I know there are some people who dare to see jazz as cutting edge music! But jazz is getting very old, here with people who like to listen to the United States of Jazz. They do not think tradition, and history is the invention of people who live inside of it. Jazz is the art form in progress with the people who get involved. Jazz is not just about CDs in the jazz section of the store. We should always keep that mind. But for most people, and a very large part of jazz fans here, they have met jazz through records and CDs as their first experience. They do not feel traditions and histories are very fragile. They need to feel this. But it could be their reason to stay with the traditional form of jazz.

Where will the musicians of the future head in the future, do you think? More commercial, more experimental, what?

I really cannot see their future. I hope they will be more emotional, and more physical. We are very emotional physical entities. I do not want to forget that. The music and musicians are the great reminder of this fact as a human being.

What do you see for the years ahead in jazz?

For everybody, it is clear it is going to be very unhappy for a while in jazz. But still there is a bright side of the dark situation. It will be a very good chance for everybody involved with jazz music to reconsider their own motivation, not based on the economic reasons, but cultural, and emotional, reasons.



Edited by mediterraneo - 29 Dec 2018 at 8:32pm
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