One of Japanese free jazz corner stone percussionist Masahiko Togashi is known mostly by his late 60s-early 70s advanced recordings but actually he continued playing and recording up to the beginning of new century. His music is mostly all avant-garde jazz but there is a rare exemption - his J.J.Spirits (or Japan Jazz Spirits).
All-stars quartet containing beside of Togashi legendary pianist Masahiko Satoh (another Japanese free jazz cult figure),sax player Kohsuke Mine (better known by his excellent albums from early 70s) and bassist Nobuyoshi Ino. Surprisingly enough for band of such background, J.J. Spirits played mostly jazz standards not all that far from originals.
Quartet released three albums in early 90s, but here on "Update" is reunited again for one gig celebrating 40th Anniversary of Togashi's musical activities. Series of Anniversary's concerts took place in Tokyo's Shinjuku Pit Inn, some material has been recorded and released ("Update" is second album in Anniversary concert series).
Here on this live gig (as almost on any other music recorded by Togashi as leader) extremely important factor is great team and band's members communication. Togashi was better organizer than leading artist, and his all vest albums are well organized collaborative works. On "Update" (which have been released by tiny Take One Record and is true obscurity doesn't even presented on such complete sites as discogs.com)quartet of advanced jazz musicians plays full-bodied groovy mainstream jazz with some unorthodox soloing and obviously they all have fun!
Two Togashi originals ("Monk's hat blues" and "My old dreams") sound as is they are evergreen hard -bop era standards, and his third "Rumba de funk" mixing hard-bop, funk and some Latin would perfectly fit on one of Hancock's pre-fusion albums.
Nobuyoshi Ino's acoutsic bass is physical, deep and rich - all music is full of it's velvet sound, recalling early Three Blind MIce's audiophile albums. Masahiko Satoh, who can be heard playing straight extremely rare, demonstrates how good he is in this unusual for him role (he still adds quirkiness and complexity to piano line,but anyway his playing is bob-rooted). True album's hero is sax player Kohsuke Mine, who almost disappeared from jazz scene after he released some exceptional albums in early-mid 70s.
All album sounds as one of those fantastic hard-bop albums from 60s where jazz spirit was all around, just with big respect transferred to mid 90s. It is not a regular Togashi's recording but music here is so great that could be recommended for everyone from jazz purist to advanced jazz fan.