Reissue with DSD remastering. A real lost treasure from trumpeter Terumasa Hino – a warm and wonderful live set, and one that's neither too free, nor too smooth – just perfectly set up right down the middle to open up on these beautiful long performances! The lineup is all Japanese – a great array of players that includes Shigeharu Mukai on trombone, Hideo Miyata on tenor, Sadao Watanabe on alto sax, Motohiko Hino on drums, and Fumio Itabashi on Fender Rhodes – part of a slightly larger ensemble who can be tight at times, but still allow plenty of room for open freedom on the solos. Hino's only part of the picture, as the other soloists get in some great space too – and the set includes the 23 minute groover "Logical Mystery", the long soulful original "In The Darkness", and a sweet mellow take on "Round Midnight".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. A fantastic record from vibist David Friedman – spare, hip, modern, and very moody! Friedman's playing vibes and marimba alongside David Samuels, who plays the same – and this twin-vibes approach sounds fantastic – especially as the record has no drums, just additional bass, plus flute by Hubert Laws – a very loose, open style that comes across with a completely unique sound! The approach is super-dope for any fan of laidback 70s vibes – and the tracks are never too free or way out, just gliding with this airy quality that's really wonderful – one of the best demonstrations of Friedman's great talents on record. Titles include "Truce", "Nyack", "Brite Piece", "Island", and "Saraband".
A brilliant set from Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – two long, leaping, loping tracks that almost feel like some of McCoy Tyner's best work! Kikuchi plays acoustic piano, and the group's a quartet with Terumasu Hino on trumpet, Koshuke Mine on tenor, Eric Gravatt on drums, and Juni Booth playing some really wonderful bass. Booth's bass leads the tracks with a soulful quality that you don't always hear on Kikuchi's other work – really giving the record a strongly-rooted vibe, while the musicians are still free to really open up and explore. The album's tracks, "East Wind" and "Green Dance", are both excellent examples of the soulful freedoms allowed in the Japanese scene of the 70s – side-long numbers that are different both from contemporary performances on both the US and European scenes of the period.
A wonderful album from the great Cedar Walton trio that featured Sam Jones on bass and Billy Higgins on drums – a really beautiful group of musicians who completely transformed the sound of the piano trio in the 70s! The group played together often in the 70s, and they've never sounded better than on an album like this – freely soulful and dancing, with Walton in firm command of his talents – sometimes coming on with the strength of his early 60s material, but always opening up with a more exploratory vibe too. Walton worked often in this mode for the decades that followed this set – but this Japanese album is almost the start of that great legacy, and still one of the best from this group! Titles include "Con Alma", "Suite Sunday", "Suntory Blues", and "Fantasy In D".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. The intimate nature of the title is very apt on this one – as the album features spare duets between drummer Masahiko Togashi and other Japanese musicians – including the great Sadao Watanabe on flute, and either Masahiko Satoh and Masabumi Kikuchi on piano! The sound is open, and sometimes a bit free – but in a way that's very inventive, and never too overpowering – as Togashi finds a way to really keep things grounded, and work in the best collaborative spirit with each musician. A real standout on the East West catalog of the 70s – and titles include "Haze", "Fairy Tale", "Song For Myself", and "Song For My Friends".
One of the greatest sessions ever recorded by Ronnie Mathews – an excellent soul jazz pianist who's working here in a mode that's similar to that of Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, or other 70s lyrical giants! Mathews' touch on the keys is incredible – at one moment extremely sensitive and pensive, at another racing forward with a searing searching spirituality that's driven on by the bass of Yoshio Suzuki and the drums of Louis Hayes – a great rhythm duo who really help give the record a very special, unique feel. The album features the original compositions "Ichiban", "K's Waltz", and "Jean-Marie" – plus a great version of "Manha Do Carnaval", which features Mathews on Fender Rhodes!
An excellent collection of rare material by this fantastic modernist piano player! The record compiles rare recordings from the years 1951 to 1966, including a few excellent solo recordings that stand as essential gems from his underrecorded career. Titles include "Ju Ju", "Pastime", "Stretch", "Dream: Paris 1965", and "Descent Into The Maelstrom". (Great Japanese pressing!) This hard-to-find LP starts off with the utterly unique title cut. On this completely atonal track (which predates Cecil Taylor by a few years), Lennie Tristano overdubbed several pianos and created picturesque and extremely intense music.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. A tremendous little album from pianist Don Friedman – a trio session, but one that's cut with a mixture of Fender Rhodes and electric bass, which gives the album a majestically soulful groove! Friedman's never sounded better, and the record is easily one of his best – with a sound that matches the best CTI sides of the time, colored by the freedoms of the Japanese recording scene of the 70s – territory that Don never hit this strongly again, and which makes the record a really unique outing, quite diferent than both his early work and later sides. The group features Lyn Christie on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums – and titles include "Paula's Wish", "Canvas On My Mind", "Lullaby For Lynne", "Hope For Tomorrow", and "A Place Within".