It's often said that the late material by Duke Ellington is some of his most adventurous and exciting – and with this rare album from 1973 as proof, we'd have to agree! Collages features Duke's piano playing backed by a large symphonic group conducted by Canadian leader Ron Collier. The style is very dark, with washes of chromatic sound from the orchestra supporting Duke's edgey piano on a haunting set of compositions by Collier, Gordon Delamont, and Norman Symonds. Titles include "Aurora Borealis", "Collage No 3", and "Fair Wind". LP, Vinyl record album
(Japanese pressing! Cover has light aging on back, and a small bit of splitting on the bottom seam – but vinyl is great.)
Shamisen never sounded so groovy before – thanks to excellent work from Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos – who are working here at their funky 70s best! The album mixes great sounds from Count Buffalos with the solo talents of Rinsoye Kida on shamisen – the traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument that's usually used in much more conservative settings – but which is recorded here in a style that's right up front in the mix, and able to step out nicely in front of the fuller, groovier backings from Ishikawa and his group! Given the nature of the instrument, the style is quite different than some other jazz albums from the time that try to mix with Japanese folkloric styles – maybe a bit like Dorothy Ashby on the koto, but more striking overall. Notes and titles are all in Japanese – and the whole thing's pretty darn compelling! LP, Vinyl record album
Chisato Yamada/Takeshi Terauchi —
Suite Nihonkai ... LP Teichiku/Cinedelic (Italy), 1981. New Copy (reissue)...
A totally cool little record from Japan – one that mixes old school acoustic instrumentation on shamisen with these larger arrangements that have a much more contemporary vibe – partly 70s funk, partly soundtrack in scope, and a very cool backdrop for the spare sound of the unique three-stringed instrument! Chisato Yamada plays with plenty of feeling here – often doing a heck of a lot with just a little – as the larger charts from Takeshi Terauchi swell and groove, almost as if the whole thing were some groovy film score from the time! All song titles are in Japanese – and the set features the long "Sea Of Japan" suite, plus a few shorter tracks too. (Global Grooves, Jazz)LP, Vinyl record album
A cool little record – one that features a bit of talking from Kikko at the beginning of each track, but with a groove that's mostly 60s instrumentals overall! Kikko talks sweetly and somewhat sexily – introducing each tune in Japanese briefly, before the record then rolls into some very groovy sounds that are right up there with the best overseas easy work of the time! Many numbers have a slightly gentle groove – bits of guitar, tenor, and strings all stepping nicely together – with that slinky feel that we've heard in other Japanese easy listening records of the period. Titles are all in Japanese, and the album comes as a groovy gatefold with some nice cheesecake photos! LP, Vinyl record album