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Jazz From Japan : Now And Then

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Category: Jazz Music Lounges
Forum Name: Jazz Music Lounge
Forum Description: General jazz music discussions (no polls)
Printed Date: 09 May 2021 at 11:31pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.16 -

Topic: Jazz From Japan : Now And Then
Posted By: snobb
Subject: Jazz From Japan : Now And Then
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2017 at 4:05am
Japan has world's biggest jazz community today. They had "love-hate" relations with this musical genre from WWII, when jazz has been proclaimed "enemy's music" by militarist propaganda. Still after the war US military bases in Japan with their local radio stations and clubs, playing live jazz became main source of genre popularization around the country.

At early stage of modern jazz in Japan there were a few artists,known internationally (of whom veteran Sadao Watanabe still plays and records new music), true explosion happened when free jazz met Japanese young generation musicians at late 60s. Often being under-valuated as "secondary" or "copy-cats" till that time, Japanese scene gave some original world level music at that step. 

Free jazz revolution shaded away very soon in early 70s in Japan (same as in Western world though) and the next significant jump was jazz fusion. Some best Miles Davis  fusion albums are recorded live in Japan, many of leading world fusion stars played there and local following was truly enormous. This fashion influenced birth of hundreds of local fusion bands (very few were really original though), them dominated on domestic scenes right up till the end of the century and some are still active and popular today. 

At the same time starting from late 70s Japan suddenly became main market for high quality mainstream jazz. Many hard bop and post-bop Western stars who lost scenes around America and Europe almost in one day stayed highly regarded on prestigious Japanese scenes for decades ahead. Many best mainstream jazz albums during 70s,80s and 90s have been recorded and released in Japan (Herbie Hancock VSOP band's series of release are great example). 

Starting from late 90s and till now Japanese scene can offer all the line of original young artists playing modern jazz, mixing electronics,rock,hip-hop into their music. Still Japanese jazz is almost unknown outside of the country and possibly only modern fusion star Hiromi received true international  success.

At the same time, local jazz market is burgeoning with lots of new names, strong releases and world largest best jazz re-issues programs. Being follower of Jazz from Japan (i.i. jazz,recorded by Japanese artists and international jazz artists releases,recorded/released originally in Japan) for some years, I would like to spread some more interesting moments of it on this thread. It supposed to be no way chronological or any other systematic writings, more a collection of brightest impressions from some very new music and some really old, with no order. Hope some will find it interesting and useful.

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2017 at 4:12am
TRI4TH are Japanese band, founded almost a decade ago. They play high energy modern hip mix of jazz,fusion and electronics and are one of most popular jazz collectives on Japanese scene today. Their last CD has been released a few month ago, it radiates positive energy and fun. 

                       4th Rebellion

The next one is already announced to be released at the very beginning of 2018. It will contain the soundtrack to "Silver Bullet" anime.

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2017 at 4:42am
Free jazz as movie soundtrack? In early 70 such idea didn't sound odd at all.  

One of best Japanese free jazz bands from early 70s - Yosuke Yamash*ta trio:


Full soundtrack (recorded in 1972) has been released on CD in 2008

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2017 at 5:14am
Seiichi Nakamura (reedist going mad on a video above) has been soon replaced with Akira Sakata. Yamash*ta's trio recorded some their best albums with him, nowadays Sakata is one of the very best sax player on Japanese scene

In 2001 Sakata recorded quite unusual and interesting album with bassist Bill Laswell, drummer Hamid Drake and guitarist Pete Cosey "Fisherman'"

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2017 at 2:26pm
Great American pianist Mal Waldron has been regular guest in Japan, some his best albums are recorded there. The one I love most - Mal Waldron collaboration with leading Japanese trumpeter of mid 70s Terumasa Hino (Japanese only release from 1973,never reissued on CD) :


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2017 at 2:49pm
Terumasa Hino himself was a leading jazz trumpeter on Japanese scene from late 60s till mid 70s playing everything from hard bop to fusion to funk-jazz. Unfortunately he switched towards more commercial sound later. His early albums all are true gem.


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2017 at 5:50am
70s and &0s Japanese jazz international icon Sadao Watanabe hasn't always been a wide-smiling sugar-sweet sounding pop-jazz sax player as he is best know for last three or four decades. Started as bop artist, he played bossa novas,no-nonsense fusion and even a "spiritual jazz"(in early 70s). 

Sadao surprised many of his old fans releasing an album of Bach pieces, played on flute just two month ago (Oct.2017)

SADAO WATANABE - Plays Bach cover

some samples can be heard here:" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2017 at 1:11pm
back on today's Japanese jazz scene - nu jazzers Fox Capture Plan experience true peack of their popularity

more energetic than genre's idols Swedes EST, Fox Capture Plan are hip and melodic, and they use more electronic tricks

their new album("Untitled") has been released just a few months ago, and the new one is already announced for the 2018 beginning

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 18 Dec 2017 at 2:44am
Not everyone knows that quite often world premieres of international jazz stars releases' start in Japan - and only after few months come to rest of the world's markets.

One of a very fresh examples is Chick Corea and The Gadd Band's new album "Chinese Butterfly" which is available in Japan from November'17, but will be released in Western world in 2018 only.


Picture 1 of 2
Picture 2 of 2

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 19 Dec 2017 at 2:38pm
Cult Japanese audiophile label Three Blind Mice besides of releasing some successful Japanese jazz artists albums released few albums of Western musicians, that fact is less unknown. One such album is Duke Jordan Trio concert in Nagoya,recorded in 1982

Image result for Duke Jordan Trio So Nice Duke

listen to the samples below:" rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 20 Dec 2017 at 12:17am
One of most interesting thing in Japanese jazz is its new generation. Still mostly unknown outside of the country, the wave of new bands are forming very unique scene combining trad jazz, free, folk, techno, electronics,psychedelia in one colorful and very Japanese modern musical mix. 

Tokyo-Chutei-Iki are 13-baritone saxes band, founded in 2000

Selim Slive Elementz:

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 20 Dec 2017 at 11:56am
One among most popular American jazzy r'n'b pianist Robert Glasper has released his first ever "Best Of..." album - yes, in Japan , on Universal Japan label (just a week ago)


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 21 Dec 2017 at 1:19pm
Japan is country of contrasts, music scene is a great evidence. Being a heaven for jazz vocalists and largest market of conservative mainstream jazz, at the same time they have world largest radical experimental scene, which combines avant-garde jazz, free improvisation,modern electronic and brutal avant-rock all in one.

Guitarist Otomo Yoshihide - "Lonely Woman"

and some shred without guitars

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 25 Dec 2017 at 11:02am
Most popular internationally for last decade or more Japanese jazz artist Hiromi (pianist Hiromi Uehara) continue releasing her rock-jazz trio albums for international market, at the same time she recorded some unusual duo releases 

October'17 live album:  

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 26 Dec 2017 at 3:44am
Drummer Tamaya Honda's trio will release their new album in January 2018. It contains six Carla Bley compositions among others and slightly recall great Paul Motian impressionistic jazz

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2017 at 6:28am
Double bassist Daisuke Abe and acoustic/electric guitarist Kuriko Tsugawa duo just released a new mainstream jazz album 


Image result for Daisuke Abe & Kuriko Tsugawa 阿部大輔 & 津川久里子 Another Journey CD

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2017 at 2:06am
Classic fusion ca. 1975 made huge impact on Japanese jazz and rock scene for decades ahead, there are lot of old and new bands playing music,rooted in this genre's traditions till now. Newest Trix album "Fortune", released in last October is a good example

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2017 at 2:19am
Being a heaven for Western jazz singers for decades (and till nowadays), Japan has already a few generations of domestic jazz singers as well. Some of them are just a copycats of Western vocalists, others mixes Japanese and Western tradition, or American jazz with Finnish enka, Brazilian bossa nova,etc,etc. Results strongly varies but often one can hear undetectable music.

Second album of enka singer Yashiro Aki, released few months ago


and her previous work


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2017 at 7:21am
 It's less than one hour left till New Year in Tokyo so very popular now in Japan sax player Ayumi Koketsu song is right in place

She is going to release new album's vinyl version upcoming spring (CD version is already on the market)

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 02 Jan 2018 at 1:00pm
One among most original Japanese jazz pianist Masabumi Kikuchi (who passed away few years ago) - probably most New York-an of all Japanese jazz musicians

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2018 at 11:51pm
Another new name from Japanese hippest label Playwright (home of Fox Capture Plan,Bohemian Voodoo,Primitive Art Orchestra,TRI4TH,etc) - reeds player Yusuke Shima

Yusuke Shima / 島裕介 / SilentJazzCase3

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 05 Jan 2018 at 12:01am
BTW, same Playwright label is responsible for return of stylish artsy videos as support for their jazz artists

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 9:14am
Modern jazz singer with roots in tradition Mie Joki will release her third album next week - on audiophile label Ultra Art Record/ Veteran pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto plays on 5 tracks (whole side A)

Posted By: JonesJazz Fan
Date Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 5:37pm
I love Japanese jazz and funk, some of the very best in my opinion. In fact, when I found this forum earlier today I was listening to an 80's Japanese funk mixtape. 
The music influences my playing quite a bit actually.

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 11:48pm
Electro-pop of 80s had influenced Japanese jazz as well as in Western world, and there were their own heroes. Sax player and composer Yasuaki Shimizu album from 1982, reissued few months ago

YASUAKI SHIMIZU / 清水靖晃 / 案山子

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 09 Jan 2018 at 12:10am
Creative Japanese drummer Tamaya Honda just released his new album a few days ago, it can be heard in whole on bandcamp:" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2018 at 6:27am
Venus label,known by their erotic cover art and specialization on mainstream ballads, wasn't always like that. Far not everyone knows that Venus were the first reissuing Albert Ayler 1966 live recordings ("At Slugs Salon vol. 1 & 2") on one CD in 1994.


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 4:21am
Still, more regular Venus products are such albums as Archie Shepp "Blue Ballads" from mid 90s

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 4:38am
Back to nowadays, new bands still try to explore so popular in last decades classic fusion sound. Shabel is one of them, with new(already third) album "True/False" coming in February



Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 4:50am
and yes - as on some other scenes, trio is a dominating format among young hip Japanese jazz bands

(Takumi Moriya)

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2018 at 7:53am
one among better works of legendary Japanese percussionist Masahiko Togashi "Song of Soil" (recorded with bassist Charlie Haden and trumpeter Don Cherry in late 70s) has been reissued in last December on vinyl. Recorded live in Paris

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2018 at 12:13pm
Japan-born New York-based keyboardist BIGYUKI releases his debut album on February 2

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 17 Jan 2018 at 12:47am
Guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi often is titled "Japanese Derek Bailey". Started from cool jazz, he participated on the early country's free jazz scene and influenced later noise/brutal avant rock/jazz movement for decades ahead

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 18 Jan 2018 at 2:17pm
Renown Japanese duo pianist Satoki Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura's one of projects Kaze (with two Frenchmen)  is going to release their new album "Atody Man" in March 

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 19 Jan 2018 at 2:39pm
Acoustic bass veteran Isao Suzuki on one of his better albums (with audiophile sound from Three Blind Mice)

He is still almost the same after all those decades.....

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 22 Jan 2018 at 2:08pm
Mari Nakamoto sings "Georgia In My Mind" with support from two star-musicians - fusion guitar hero Kazumi Watanabe and legendary double bassist Isao Suzuki

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 22 Jan 2018 at 2:13pm
Chamber- avant garde Ensemble Shippoly will release their new album at the end of February


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2018 at 9:11am
Tokyo-based 18-piece all-female big band Tawoyame Orquesta last year released their fifth album

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2018 at 12:09am
Cult pianist from early years of Japanese free jazz Masahiko Satoh later searched for different directions. His unorthodox minimalist album with strong domestic scent recorded together with percussionist /composer Midori Takada (originally released in Japan in 1990) has been reissued in Switzerland last year by label with funny name "We Release Whatever The We Want Records"." rel="nofollow -

Image result for Midori Takada ・ Masahiko Satoh ‎ Lunar Cruise

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2018 at 12:19am
Still, piano trios are dominating force on modern days Japanese jazz scene

new album

Image result for KOTARO HIRAMITSU The Trio Vol.1 CD

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 01 Feb 2018 at 12:35am
Nu Japanese nu jazzers Frog Of Fog with their debut on Musilogue label

Frog of fog / フロッグオブフォグ / Frog way back / フロッグウェイバック

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2018 at 1:09am
Pianist Fumio Karashima passed away last year, his final album ("Final Recordings") is going to be released in March

FUMIO KARASHIMA / 辛島文雄 / My Life in Jazz / マイ・ライフ・イン・ジャズ

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2018 at 3:37pm
Miles Davis fusion influenced Japanese all-star band from early 70s

Recorded "Jazz Festival with '71Poll Winners" Live at Shinjuku Welfare and Pension Hall, Tokyo on May 29, 1971. Personnel : Terumasa Hino (tp) Takeru Muraoka (ts) Poo Masabumi Kikuchi (ep) Sadao Watanabe (as) Kousuke Mine (ss) Yoshiaki Masuo (g) Kunimitsu Inaba (b) Motohiko Hino (ds)

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2018 at 12:29am
Acoustic bassit Hiroshi Takase new album is announced to be released in March.

HIROSHI TAKASE / 高瀬裕 / セブン・マインズ

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2018 at 4:55am
Terumasa Hino (sometimes titled "Japanese Miles Davis") debut album in full - Terumasa sounds mellower than Davis, but at the same time he avoids psychedelic abstractions from one side and high energy explosions from other.  Generally a hard bop album, it contains surprising (the year is 1967) early fusion piece (title track) and interesting version of "Summertime" . His brother Motohiko Hino - on drums

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 12:03am
Popular acid jazz band "Quasimodo" member Yusuke Hirado is releasing solo albums time to time

Hirado's most current project - Yusuke Hirado Prospect - released their album last summer


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2018 at 2:37pm
Don't be mistaken by the cover -  Yucco Miller play glam-jazz !

new album  - in March


Image result for Yucco Miller Saxonic CD

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2018 at 5:54am
Young singer/guitarist Hanah Spring is a bit different thing, she mixes jazzy vocals with hip Western urban r'n'b and 70s Latin jazz

new album comes next week

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2018 at 1:34am
Great Masabumi Kikuchi plays live - solo

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2018 at 4:25am
On a peak of his early popularity on a fusion wave, Kikuchi released very uncommon album (especially in jazz world) - double vinyl with 5 different versions of his fusion hit "Dancing Mist", recorded live with different line ups on different concerts. All but one versions are side-long.

MASABUMI KIKUCHI - All About Dancing Mist cover

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 17 Feb 2018 at 3:03pm
Lyrical mainstream pianist Ryo Fukui (who passed away two years ago, in March 2016) debut album will be re-issued in March

RYO FUKUI / 福居良 / SCENERY / シーナリー

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 17 Feb 2018 at 3:25pm
Lotus Position - a duo of shakunachi player and percussionist  - collaborates with living avant-garde legend pianist Yosuke Yamash*ta

LOTUS POSITION / ロータス・ポジション / LOTUS POSITION with YOSUKE YAMAsh*tA / ロータス・ポジション・ウィズ 山下洋輔

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 22 Feb 2018 at 2:27pm
Renown melancholic/romantic/sentimentalist mainstream jazz label Venus just released their  regular compilation (already 22nd in a series)

Image result for Venus The Amazing Super Audio CD Sampler Vol.22

Pianist Dick Hyman Trios's "My Favorite Things" is one of the better songs on it

compilation's track list:
セルフ・ポートレイト・イン・スリー・カラーズ / マリオン・ブラウン・クインテット
WHAT'S GOING ON? / One For All
ホワッツ・ゴーイング・オン / ワン・フォー・オール
WHOLLY CATS / Russell Malone Quartet
ホリー・キャッツ / ラッセル・マローン・カルテット
アラゴンから来た女 / テテ・モントリュー・トリオ
IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING / Konrad Paszkudzki Trio
春の如く / コンラッド・パシュクデュスキ・トリオ
WILD IS THE WIND / Anna Kolchina
野生の息吹 / アンナ・コルチナ
LA COMPARSA / Romantic Jazz Trio
ラ・コンパルサ / ロマンティック・ジャズ・トリオ
SONG FOR MY FATHER / Claude Williamson Trio
ソング・フォー・マイ・ファーザー / クロード・ウィリアムソン・トリオ
WOODY'N YOU / Francesco Cafiso Sicilian Quartet
ウッディン・ユー / フランチェスコ・カフィーソ・シシリアン・カルテット
YESTERDAYS / Andrea Pozza Trio
イエスタデイズ / アンドレア・ポッツァ・トリオ
CHATEAU EN SUEDE / Harry Allen Quartet
スエーデンの城 / ハリー・アレン・カルテット
CLOSE ENOUGH FOR LOVE / David Hazeltine Trio
クロース・イナフ・フォー・ラブ / デヴィッド・ヘイゼルタイン・トリオ
マイ・フェイバリット・シングス / ディック・ハイマン・トリオ
WHEN YOUR LOVER HAS GONE / Champian Fulton Trio
恋去りしとき / チャンピアン・フルトン・トリオ
エブリシング・ハプンス・トゥ・ミー / フィル・ウッズ

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2018 at 7:08am
another fresh Venus comp, lot of standards included:

Image result for Groovin With Freedom Jazz Dance CD

MY FAVORITE THINGS / Harold Mabern Trio
マイ・フェバリット・シングス / ハロルド・メイバーン・トリオ
情事の終わり / ワン・フォー・オール
星影のステラ / ジョー・ベック・トリオ
SOUTH OF BORDER / Claude Williamson Trio
国境の南 / クロード・ウイリアムソン・トリオ
VENUS BLUES / Peter Bernstein + 3
ヴィーナス・ブルース / ピーター・バーンスタイン+3
YOU'D BE SO NICE TO COME HOME TO / Barney Wilen Quartet
ユー・ド・ビー・ソー・ナイス・トゥ・カム・ホーム・トゥ / バルネ・ウイラン・カルテット
HORACE-SCOPE / David Hazeltine Trio
ホレス・スコープ / デヴィッド・ヘイゼルタイン・トリオ
PEER PRESSURE / Phil Woods Quintet
ピアー・プレッシャー / フィル・ウッズ・クインテット
スイングなければ意味ないね / ニューヨーク・トリオ
マイ・ガール・イズ・ジャスト・イナフ・ウーマン・フォーミー / エリック・アレキサンダー・カルテット
DONNA LEE / The Jacky Terrasson Jazz Trio
ドナ・リー / ジャッキー・テラソン・ジャズ・トリオ
FREEDOM JAZZ DANCE / Eddie Harris Quartet
フリーダム・ジャズ・ダンス / エディ・ハリス・カルテット

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2018 at 7:38am
Japanese  nowadays jump blues (!) - Ronbotran Hipshot :

Image result for RONBOTRAN HIPSHOT ロンボトランヒップショット Show me your hip shake/バージンブルー

new single released just a week ago

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2018 at 1:25am
Sandinista isn't a movement in Central America and even not a The Clash's album. It's an Japanese label, releasing some strange mix of piano jazz, Latin and brass rock." rel="nofollow - ギリギリBOYZ   are good example

ギリギリBOYZ / 旧デトロイト / MUD (7")

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2018 at 12:12am
Vocalist Yuko Shigeno will release a new album next week (participating Cyrus Chestnut)


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 16 Mar 2018 at 1:22am
Weird mix of fusion,funk, J-pop,J-rock and punk - Aniston Evolution

new album (Jan' 2018)

Anison Evolution / ‚ƒ‹‚ƒƒ‚ƒœƒƒƒ‚ƒƒ / Anison Tribute vol.1 / ‚ƒ‹‚ƒƒƒˆƒƒ“ƒƒƒˆƒƒœƒƒƒƒ ƒƒƒ

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2018 at 11:33am
F.I.B. Journal Meets" rel="nofollow - 武田カオリ   new album "Days 365. Standing On The Corner"

F.I.B JOURNAL meets 武”‚‚ƒ / š˜€に住み DAYS 365, STANDING ON THE CORNER

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2018 at 12:31am
Pianist Mayu Savant releases her debut album in May

Mayu Savant / ƒžƒƒ‚ƒ‚ƒ / Mayu Savant / ƒžƒƒ‚ƒ‚ƒ

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2018 at 12:38am
Renown duo of pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura release debut album of their new project - Kira Kira (with drummer Ittetsu Takemura Australian keyboardist Alister Spence)" rel="nofollow -

KIRA KIRA / ‚ƒ‚ƒ / BRIGHT FORCE / ƒ–ƒ‚ƒˆƒƒ•‚ƒ‚

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 17 Apr 2018 at 12:27am

Young pianist Masahiro Urashima album:

浦島正• / Palm Of A Bear

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 19 Apr 2018 at 8:59am
Funky fusioners Muff release new 7" single upcoming weekend


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 24 Apr 2018 at 11:59pm
Korean r'n'b singer Choyoung releases today her single on Japanese label Kissing Fish Records

Choyoung / Our Thing / Black Music(7)

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 02 May 2018 at 12:07am
Young r'n'b (with touch of psychedelia) band Perfect Yasai Pluck

new album release - May 23

perfect yasai pluck / KIMYOU NA KYUUKA / ‚ƒŸƒ‚な‘š‡

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 02 May 2018 at 12:11am
"Japanese Candy Dulfer" - Miyuki Fujino

new album - already released

MIYUKI FUJINO / —‡ŽŽ”€ / Right Time / ƒ‚ƒˆƒ‚‚ƒ 

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 25 May 2018 at 12:45am
One of the hippest Japanese scene band TRI4TH just released their new album "Hybrid Roots"

TRI4TH / ƒˆƒ‚ƒ•‚ƒ‚ / Hybrid ROOTS / ƒ‚ƒ–ƒƒƒƒ‰ƒƒƒƒ„

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 31 May 2018 at 12:54am
Simple analog-organ based music from Mahogany Organ All-Stars

new album's coming in June

Mahogany Organ All-Stars / ƒžƒ›‚ƒ‹ƒ‚ƒ‚ƒ‚ƒƒ‚‚ƒ‚ / 100 LANDSCAPES  / 100 ƒƒƒ‰‚‚ƒƒ—‚

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 01 Jun 2018 at 12:11am
Mainstream (with some freer elements) Trio Shinkai No Mado debut album is released today:

TRIO SHINKAI NO MADO / 深海ƒŽ“ / BLIND CINEMA / ›ƒ–‰‚ƒ† ‹ƒ˜ ”

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2018 at 12:15am
Odd Japanese quartet Trapeza (originally written on Cyrillic) plays Russian pseudo-folklore songs with serious faces adding some free jazz soloing Embarrassed   Debut (and only) album comes from late 2017

TRAPEZA / ƒˆƒƒš座 / TRAPEZA / ƒˆƒƒš座

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2018 at 4:47am
The duo of Yumi Orikasa(shakuhachi, koto, shamisen) and Christian Adair(drums, sax, and piano).
Mix of spiritual jazz, Japanese folk and some pop. Released three weeks ago." rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow">

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 2:16am
Pianist Miho Nakada covers wide area from Hiromi-influenced high-energy piano fusion to mainstream jazz. New album on sale today" rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow">

Posted By: Mellotronjazz
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2018 at 2:25am
just given this a listen! sounds great... I've not heard much jazz from Japan but after hearing this i think i will be listening to more.

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2018 at 12:02am
Jazz guitarist Kazushiro Nakane releases today his new album "The Art Of Rolling"" rel="nofollow -


Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 3:41am
new album from Japanese Zeuhl veterans KoenjiHyakkei" rel="nofollow">

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 10 Oct 2018 at 11:43pm
An album of ballads released yesterday by pianist Michiko Ogawa - "Balluchon:12 Songs For Music And Sound Travelers"" rel="nofollow -

  • MICHIKO OGAWA / 小川理子 / バルーション(UHQCD)

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2018 at 12:20am
New Heritage Of Real Heavy Metal or NHORHM are Japanese guys playing acoustic chamber jazz versions of known heavy metal hits

their new album is released today :

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2018 at 12:31am
Second album from young mainstream jazz band J-Squad just released:

  • J Squad / ジェイ・スクワッド / J-SQUAD 2 / J-Squad II

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 1:16am
In modern life big bands become rare pleasure since in cost-saving world to run big band is an expensive affair.

Liverwort Lab are Japanese big band who released  their debut album four days ago.

listen samples here:" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 at 10:52am
Japanese CARAVAN by Japanese Journey (not US AOR band):

new album released October 10 2018

    Journey - Kurofune" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: ma1co1m
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2018 at 9:45pm
Wow, fantastic thread! It's going to take me a while to work through it all, but already spotted a few albums I'm def going to have to track down. I've been getting into quite a bit of Japanese jazz recently (Mototeru Takagi, Sabu Toyozumi, Kaoru Abe...). Now I know where to come for further suggestions.

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2018 at 2:03am
then you'll possibly like Masayuki Takayanagi from glorious past

and living legend Akira Sakata Big smile

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2018 at 11:23pm
another boy-band from Playwright label program - Polyplus


Posted By: ma1co1m
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2018 at 11:41pm
Hi, yeah I'm a fan of Akira Sakata. Not familiar with Masayuki Takayanagi though, so will investigate him further. Thanks for the tip.
I think I'm familiar with many of the major players, but so many of them have such expansive discographies, knowing which are the key albums to listen to is where my knowledge let's me down. Now I know who to come and ask

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2018 at 1:53am
you're welcome Smile
I like digging Japanese jazz - it's quite different from American or European.

Takayunagi is quite unique guitarist who started from cool jazz on early recordings but soon found himself playing proto-noise, possibly the earliest such musician on Japanese scene. Plenty of more current renown Japanese musicians, from avant-rock to imrovs masters are obviously influenced by him, incl. Otomo Yoshihide

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2018 at 1:57am
Otomo Yoshihide is not always noisy, he can be even romantic - his own way

album released on Zorn's Tzadik label

  • Dreams
Click image to open expanded view

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2018 at 3:57am
for fans of today's Japanese nu jazz - new album from one of the leaders "Fox Capture Plan"

CAPTURISM キャプチャリズム

Posted By: Frederic_Alderon
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2018 at 12:56pm
Actually to my surprise, never heard Japanise even do Jazz....but will totally get involved in that

Posted By: Frederic_Alderon
Date Posted: 13 Nov 2018 at 1:24pm
Here is a good portion of a Jazz from Japan of 1969​-​1984 years:

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 22 Nov 2018 at 12:02am
pianist Kanji Ohta  太田寛二 mainstream trio with new album 

  • KANJI OHTA / 太田寛二 / A DAY IN NEW YORK / ア・デイ・イン・ニューヨーク

samples :" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 26 Nov 2018 at 12:05am
Sax player Kunihiro Izumi (a member of renown Shibusashirazu Orchestra) with new solo album "No Problem" - Japanese folklore influenced spiritual/avant-garde jazz

KUNIHIRO IZUMI / ‰‚宏 / no problem

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 30 Nov 2018 at 1:09am
Playwright label continues releasing young and fashionable Japanese jazz artists music. Pianist Yo Yo "The Pianoman" is coming next week. Modern guy plays far not so modern music :)

YoYo the €Pianoman€

YoYo the "Pianoman" / O.G.SWING / ‚ƒƒ‚ƒƒ‚‚‚ƒ‚

sound samples:" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: minhnt0706
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 8:00pm
This thread is really helpful, I have to comment to thank you!
I just start listening to Japanese Jazz recently, can you suggest for me some famous artists?

I have my own blog where I write about Japanese song lyrics. Visit it to share your hobby with me!
My blog:" rel="nofollow - Japanese Song Lyrics

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 11:16pm
for hip today's Japanese jazz I would recommend to start from Playwright label artists:" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2018 at 10:02am
Great pianist Masabumi Kikuchi one of most significant albums from early 70s has been reissued in December.  Spiritual jazz and fusion, still quite fresh and inspired


Posted By: mediterraneo
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 4:37pm
I thought about starting a thread on this but maybe someone here might be interested in this:

Does anyone have any thoughts on this:" rel="nofollow -

"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"

Posted By: snobb
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 4:41pm

your link isn't working

Posted By: mediterraneo
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by snobb snobb wrote:


your link isn't working

They must have recently done something with the site because it was just up there. Do you have any thoughts on the passage I quoted?

Posted By: mediterraneo
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 8:31pm
Here is the cached version:

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.

Posted By: snobb
Date 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.

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