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Japanese

XA special section of Japanese language records -- city pop, J-pop, and other styles unique to the culture of Japan!

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Featured items ...

Blue Note/Third Man, 1971. 2LP Gatefold
A rare funky treasure – lost live material from Grant Green's hippest years at Blue Note – recorded in the early 70s funky years, but unissued for decades! The set's an incredibly smoking one – with loads of long tracks that really stretch out in a hard-hitting, bottom-heavy ... LP, Vinyl record album

Muriel Grossmann

Devotion
Third Man, 2023.
The first widely-circulated album issued by the stunning saxophonist Muriel Grossman – an artist we've been stocking on imports for the past decade or so, and who quickly became one of or favorites in jazz! If you've not heard Muriel before, this album's a perfect introduction to her music ... CD
Numero, Late 60s/1970s/Early 80s. 2LP Gatefold
Gary, Indiana is maybe best known as the hometown of the Jackson 5 – but the city also had plenty of other soul singers back in the day – as you'll discover on this really well-done collection of tracks! The set's titled after the Chicago Skyway, a huge industrial structure that links ... LP, Vinyl record album

Matt Berry

Simplicity
KPM/Acid Jazz (UK), 2023.
A really fantastic pairing of forces – as keyboard collector Matt Berry serves up a special set of instrumental tracks for the KPM sound library – many of which are done on the kinds of keys that KPM were recording back in the day! You might know Matt for his work on screen, but he's ... CD
Direction, 1969.
Really fantastic later work from Bobby Darin – material that's quite different than the simple pop of his early Atco years, and even the jazzier style he used earlier on in the 60s! The set is one of two issued by the Direction label – and features Bobby taking off from some of the Tim ... CD

Ballister (Dave Rempis/Fred Lonberg Holm/Paal Nilssen Love)

Smash & Grab
Aerophonic, 2023.
Brilliant work from this well-matched trio of improvisers – a group who definitely smash and grab in a highly sonic way – thanks to cello and electronics from Fred Lonberg-Holm, drums and percussion from Paal Nilssen Love, and alto, tenor, and baritone saxes from the great Dave Rempis! ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), 1950s/1960s.
The shadow of Hank Williams still looms large in country music well into the 21st Century – but it had an especially strong force in the years after his too-early death – as you'll hear here in a great selection of covers, tributes, and other songs that continue the short-but-strong ... CD
Blue Note, 1970. (reissue)
Brilliant work as a leader from McCoy Tyner – and easily one of his most righteous albums ever – a true batch of spiritual gems that really takes the John Coltrane legacy one step further! Most numbers build with a modal vibe that's more Impulse Records than Blue Note – and ... LP, Vinyl record album
Bell/Big Pink (South Korea), 1974.
A killer bit of Latin funk from the west coast scene of the 70s – the only album we've ever seen from Sapo, but a set that almost blows away the efforts of bigger groups like Malo or El Chicano! There's a bit more funk in the mix here than in some of the group's contemporaries – a ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. 2CDs
Great early work from the enigmatic Wayne Cochran – a whiter-than-white cat who's most famous for his late 60s run of surprisingly great funk and soul records for Chess and King – heard here on the complete tracks recorded for a variety of different labels in the runup to those years! ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
The fingersnap here is the key – as all the cuts here have a nicely romping kind of groove – a sweet sense of rhythm that's bound to get your toes tapping as much as your fingers are snapping – thanks to a nice sense of space between the notes! The music is from a variety of ... CD
Jazz Detective, Mid 60s. 2CDs
Very cool work from vibist Cal Tjader – sounds that are different than some of the larger arrangements and concepts of his Verve Records albums of the mid 60s, and material that appears here for the first time ever! The set features a range of appearances that Tjader made on radio in Seattle ... CD
Cadillac (UK), 1972.
Mike Westbrook live, and also a bit more stripped-down than on some of his earlier albums – less of the high concept presentation overall, and more in the mode of the sharper edges of the British scene of the time! The tracks are all longish, and nicely open at points – flowing with a ... CD

Tomasz Stanko

Wooden Music II
Astigmatic (Poland), 1972.
Beautiful improvised work from legendary Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko – work that's much more powerful and bracing than the atmospheric recordings he would do for ECM in later years! The work here comes right at a key moment for free jazz on the European scene – and Stanko works with ... CD
Philips/Universal (Japan), 1964.
Tremendous early work from Karin Krog – a great example of her rich vocal talents and creative energy, recorded well before her more experimental sessions of the 60s! Even at this early date, Karin's got a strong commitment to improvisation and unique phrasing – a style that really ... CD

Chip Wickham

Love & Life
Gondwana (UK), 2023.
We love the music of Chip Wickham – a very soulful reed player who easily moves between spiritual and modal modes – sometimes grooving, sometimes a bit more open – and always working with a fantastic sense of color and tone! Here, Chip plays both flute and tenor sax – the ... LP, Vinyl record album

Brit Funk Association

Ancestral Voices
Expansion (UK), 2023.
That's almost an Earth Wind & Fire-styled image on the cover – and the Brit Funk Association definitely live up to the spirit of that scene – which is maybe no surprise, given that group members have a legacy that goes way back for many years on the UK soul scene! There's a warmth ... CD
Jazz Detective/Elemental, Mid 60s. 2CDs
60s Ahmad Jamal in the studio is already pretty darn great – but live, his group is even more amazing – as the pianist is able to stretch out more, and take a lot more chances too – not just in the way he's striking the keys of the piano, but also working with the fantastic ... CD
Dead Oceans, 2023. 2LP
A massive live album from this funky trio – a double-length set, and one that they get all to themselves after splitting a long run of live records with other artists during most of 2023! While we liked those records, we're very happy to have Khruangbin on their own – stretching out in ... LP, Vinyl record album
Cherry Red, Late 70s/Early 80s. 5CD
A massive look at the huge legacy of North American punk in the late 70s – culled together from scenes in New York, Ohio, Boston, and LA – plus other surprising spots around the country – as artists were working separately, but together, to completely reinvent both the sound of ... CD
 



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