KAZUTOKI UMEZU — Another Step (with Mal Waldron)

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KAZUTOKI UMEZU - Another Step (with Mal Waldron) cover
3.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 1982

Filed under Hard Bop
By KAZUTOKI UMEZU

Tracklist

A1 I Should Care 6:51
A2 Lonely Nights 7:43
A3 Hole In Stomach Woman 8:06
B1 Circular Line 9:31
B2 ´Round Midnight 9:02

Line-up/Musicians

- Kazutoki Umezu / alto saxophone
- Mal Waldron / piano
- Takeharu Hayakawa / bass
- Takashi Kikuchi / drums

About this release

Union Jazz ‎– ULP-5004 (Japan)

Recorded at Teichiku Kaikan Studio on April 21 - 22, 1982

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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KAZUTOKI UMEZU ANOTHER STEP (WITH MAL WALDRON) reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

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.

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