Greg's first big set for BlueNote – a new groove spectacular, with a blend of funky jazz and hip hop sensibilities. Titles include "Raise", "3D Lifestyles", "Hardcopy", "Street Jazz", "Intelligent Madness", "Flow To The Underculture", and "Mr Gutterman". CD
Quasimode soar nicely on this great little set for BlueNote Japan – a record that draws on their many years in the club jazz scene, and finds a way to give their music even more focus than before! All the piano-driven grooves we've always loved are firmly in place – hard-rolling modal lines that step out boldly over acoustic bass and percussion – but this time around, the horns are even more prominent than before – some tight trumpet and tenor that both sound mighty nice, given some occasional string sweetening on a few cuts, but never in ways that dampen the highly rhythmic energy of the combo! Titles include album versions of "Whisky's High" and "Flyin To The Dark" – plus "Seven Colors", "Cosmic Eyes", "Lush Life", "Music Can Change The World", "Nahogoi Jumping", and "Ant Soldier". Also features a bonus DVD – with a music video for "Whisky's High", and 3 more live performance tracks! CD
(HQ – Hi Quality CD pressing, DVD is NTSC coded region 2.)
Kazuhiro Sunaga —
Mirror ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 2015. Used ...
A debut solo set from Kazuhiro Sunaga – an artist you might know better as the bassist in Japan's mighty Quasimode – but one who really stretches into new styles here on his own! The music still has that core sense of groove we love from Quasimode, but the performance is in a range of different instrumentation than the straight jazz styles of that combo – a blend of keyboards lines handled by the leader alongside his bass – including organ, Wurlitzer, mellotron, and acoustic piano – often mixed with this spare sort of instrumentation that's nicely playful, and which has a sound that's somewhere in the territory of post-jazz groups from the UK, and some of the more soulful experiments on BlueNote in the wake of Robert Glasper. A few tracks have vocals – sung by guests who include Maya Hatch and Sugar Me, and by Sunaga himself – and titles include "The Butterfly", "Spicy", "Coexistence", "Spring Wind", "Suzanne", "After The Storm", and "Help Me". CD
Hex ... CD BlueNote (Japan), 2013. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of the coolest new Japanese combos we've heard in awhile – a group who have some of the live jamming of the club jazz generation, but who also touch on some of the noisier elements of an earlier generation of Japanese avant players as well! The blend is great – never too free or far outside – but a really fresh reinvention of the kinds of core sounds we've been digging from groups like Quasimode or Indigo Jam Unit. Like both those groups, the lineup here is relatively lean – both piano and keyboards played at the same time, with acoustic and electric bass, and heavy drums and rhythms from Midorin – who we know for his work in Soil & Pimp Sessions! The electric and acoustic elements work together beautifully – often widening the sound around the edges with lots of cool sonic elements, while the core rhythms still move forward strongly. The aesthetic is quite fresh, while still holding on to other great elements of the Japanese scene – another local winner for the exciting Japanese branch of BlueNote! Titles include "Jazzstep", "Suite For The Visionary", "Uncensored Love Transmission", "Tropicalia 14", and "Dahsur Waltz" – plus great remakes of "The Osaka Blues" and "Hello To The Wind" – and a wonderful version of "Tokyo Blues" with vocals by Ed Motta! CD