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Close matches: 63
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Isoo FukuiSunrise Sunset ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Mindblowing sounds from Japanese bassist Isoo Fukui – one of a handful of 70s players on that scene who really helped reinvent the sound of his instrument in jazz! Isoo really drives the group here up from the bottom – by playing both bass and cello with these well-inflected notes that are heavy on soul and rhythm, and which often enforce a modal sensibility that's carried out perfectly by the vibes of Kazuhiro Matsuishi and piano of Hideo Ichikawa! A few numbers feature guitar from Shoji Yokouchi, who plays with this chromatic style that really works well with the vibes – and titles include "Lady T", "Happy Walk", "7th Avenue Sunrise", "Early Summer", and "7th Avenue Sunset". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Takashi Furuya with the Yoshiaki Otsuka TrioSolitude ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99 24.99
Beautifully moody vocal work from Japanese singer Takashi Furuya – recorded with that special Three Blind Mice label sound of the 70s, which means that the record feels a lot different than more mainstream vocal jazz material of the time! Furuya's got this way of stretching out a word that's really great – very unusual phrasing that makes his interpretations of the tunes sound unlike anyone else we can think of – especially given the very spare, very gentle backing he receives from the trio of pianist Yoshiaki Otsuka, which also includes some guest guitar work from Kazuhiko Takeda. Titles include "I Only Have Eyes For You", "Solitude", "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart", "At Long Last Love", and "Spring Is Here". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Yoshiko GotoDay Dream ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A very dark set of vocals from Japanese singer Yoshiko Goto – quite different than most of the more standard jazz sessions of the 70s, and one that's recorded with a great sense of space and presence! Many of the numbers here follow the Three Blind Mice mode of instrumentation – using the elements sparingly and often in groupings that are less traditional than usual. Although the group here features alto sax, piano, bass, and drums – they don't always move together at once, leaving lots of space for Yoshiko's vocals to slide out with a moody and sad-tinged feel. Titles include "Angel Eyes", "I Got It Bad", "Jesse", "Everytime We Say Goodbye", and "Day Dream". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Nobuo Hara & Sharps & FlatsActive Volcano ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $19.99
A definite active volcano of sound from Nobuo Hara and his excellent Sharps & Flats ensemble – a group who were to the Japanese scene of the 70s what the Clark Boland Big Band was to the European one! By that, we mean that the style here is way groovier than you might expect – definite third (if not fourth) generation big band work – full of color and life, but also with a great ear for contemporary rhythms too – thanks to some sweet guitar and keyboards in the mix. The horns are tremendous, but never overwhelming – and Takashi Shitaka provides some very thoughtful arrangements for the record – on tracks that include "White Heron", "Ondo", Sharp Curve", and "South Wind". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Sachi HayasakaStraight To The Core ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Very early work from Japanese saxophonist Sachi Hayasaka – a set that's a bit late in the catalog of the Three Blind Mice label, but one that's also a very special session for the label! Sachi blows alto and soprano sax, and the group here is a very free, open trio – just bass from Toshiki Nagata, and trumpet work from the great Wadada Leo Smith – a partner who really matches the youthful imagination that Hayasaka brings to her horn. The work is all improvised, but with a loose sense of structure at times – and there's a spiritual current to the music that almost makes it feel like Sachi could have been a member of the AACM back in the 70s. Most titles are in Japanese – and the set features 10 numbers in all, of varying length. CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hideo Ichikawa TrioTomorrow ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Hideo Ichikawa may have been one of the most inventive pianists to record for the Three Blind Mice label in the 70s – an artist whose talents are expansive both on the acoustic and electric versions of the instrument he uses here – and which also extend to a few contributions on percussion and recorder as well! The tracks are all nice and long – in the best TBM way – and Ichikawa has a way of playing freely, but never in a free jazz mode – always sliding to the right lyrical moments when things get a bit too sharp-edged, but never in a way that's undercutting his sound. The Fender Rhodes is especially nice – played with round, warm notes – and the rest of the group features Isoo Fukui on bass and cello, and Hideo Yamaki on drums and bells. Titles include "Between The Lights", "Tomorrow", "234 Out Of The Boundless Verdant Land", and "Birds My Birds". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Masaru ImadaMasaru Imada Piano ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Sublime solo piano from Masaru Imada – a Japanese player with talents in a range of different styles, but who sounds especially nice up-close here in an intimate setting! Imada's got a way of letting a tune really find its way organically – almost as if the songs here are little flowers opening up in his fingers on the keyboard of the piano – although never in a style that's "flowery" at all, because Imada's a master of finding just the right notes at the right moment – never embellishing things just to show off. Instead, his imagination finds all the best paths forwards, especially on his original tunes on the set – in a list of titles that include "Country Song", "Snow Flake", "I Love You", "Fancy Lady", and "Old Folks". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Masaru ImadaOne For Duke ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99
The album's dedicated to Duke Ellington, and it features Duke Ellington tunes – but overall the set is a very personal moment from pianist Masaru Imada – maybe one of his strongest dates of the 70s! The music opens up with that beautifully creative Japanese piano trio approach of the 70s – lots of new ideas and new styles brimming forth throughout, but always in a way that's respectful of tradition while pushing things forward – swinging back to familiar modes one minute, then soaring forth with a personal spirit the next. Masaru's trio-mates here are a great match – the excellent Isoo Fukui on bass and Tetsujiro Obara on drums – on titles that include "Stevie", "Satin Doll", and "Sophisticated Lady" – plus the Imada originals "Blue Rain" and "One For Duke". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Masaru ImadaRemember Of Love ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A beautiful little record – the sort of set that shows just how far Japanese pianists like Masaru Imada were moving past familiar trio modes in the 70s! There's this open sort of flow that comes across right away – certainly some of the sentiment hinted at by the title, but also some of the breakdown from familiar jazz modes that the Three Blind Mice label really allowed at the time – not avant styles, but a sense of more creative rhythms and instrumentation – unleashed here by Imada on piano and Fender Rhodes, with bass from Mitsuoki Furuno, drums from Takuji Kusumoto, and percussion from Yuji Inamura. Furuno sometimes bows his bass, in an Isao Suzuki mode – and the record can have a wonderfully dreamlike quality at times, especially on side one. Titles include "Maki", "Sea Weeds", "Little Step", and "Remember Of Love". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Hideto KanaiQ ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Boldly visionary work from bassist Hideto Kanai – a session of unusual numbers that often have a deeply poetic feel! Kanai's bass is clearly at the helm of the record – stepping out sparely at the start of some numbers – then punctuating the proceedings with a strong voice that urges on some of the more sensitive players. Instrumentation varies from track to track – but includes alto sax, trumpet, xylophone, guitar, flute, and baritone sax – all offered up without any piano, which creates even more of a sense of space for solo expression. Titles include "Kaleidoscope", "Meditation", "A", and "April Song For Kanai". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hideto Kanai & King's RoarOde To Birds ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
One of the most unusual albums we've ever heard from Japanese bassist Hideto Kanai – maybe the only one to feature his King's Roar group, a magnificent spiritual avant ensemble who work through two side-long tracks with plenty of amazing moments! There seems to be a nice blend of structure and improvisation going on here – as Kanai's bass is well up in the mix, and at the helm of a fantastic lineup that includes Hideo Miyata on tenor, soprano sax, and flute; Kenji Mori on bass clarinet, alto, and flute; Teruyuki Fukushima on trumpet, Yasukazu Amemiya on percussion, and Shoji Nakayama on percussion and drums – moving in ways that almost feel like some American west coast group from the LA underground, really finding their own individual spirits on the two long tracks – "Ode To Birds" and "One For Charlie". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Albert MangelsdorffDiggin – Live At Dug Tokyo (with bonus track) ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Great live work by Albert Mangelsdorff – recorded during the height of his creative years at MPS, at a time when he was easily one of the most creative trombonists in the world! Mangelsdorff has risen to new heights by the time of this record – pushing the instrument to a level that only a few might hope to match – maybe just Roswell Rudd or Grachan Moncur – although we'd argue that Albert has an even wider range of expression, especially over the course of different records. This set shows his fiercest, most unbridled side – a great live date recorded in Tokyo, with a group that includes Heinz Sauer on tenor, Gunter Lenz on bass, and Ralf Hubner on drums. The interplay between Sauer and Mangelsdorff is excellent, never too free, and with that bit of swing that Mangelsdorff always put into his work, no matter how modern the idiom. Tracks include "Sing & Swing", "Open Space", "Triple Trip", and "Mahusale" – and they all run for a fairly long time. CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hidehiko MatsumotoSleepy ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Hidehiko Matsumoto may have the nickname of "sleepy", but his playing is anything but – and at the time of this recording, he was easily one of the greatest saxophonist working the Japanese scene! The style of the album has Matsumoto right out front on most numbers – getting backing from piano, bass, and drums – but often in ways that are somewhat restrained and spacious, in the Three Blind Mice mode of the period. Sleepy plays his usual tenor sax, plus some great flute too – and titles range from mellow, introspective tunes that really showcase his lyrical side – to a few faster tunes that take off with a very nice edge. Titles include "Duke's Days", "Chasin The Blues", "You Don't Know What Love Is", "Typhoon", and "Right Down Step". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sleepy MatsumotoSamba De Sun ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Hidehiko "Sleepy" Matsumoto is a reedman who grabbed us strongly the first time we ever heard him play – on one of the first big band albums by Toshiko Akioshi in the 60s – and he's also one who continued to grow and refine his craft in the 70s, with an amazingly personal sound by the end of the decade! This album's one of Sleepy's best – the kind of set that makes him an instant heir to American giants like Sonny Sitt or Sonny Rollins – who he easily rivals for his ability to blow strong and long over the span of the extended tunes of the set – never failing to find new ideas in his solos, and always making us feel like we've just stumbled upon his genius all over again in the process! The group's a quartet – with Hideo Ichikawa on piano, Takashi Mizuhashi on bass, and Hideo Sekine on drums – and titles include the long "Back To The Sea", "Samba De Sun", and "Stella By Starlight" – plus "Round Midnight" and "Anaid". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bingo Miki & The Inner Galaxy OrchestraBack To The Sea ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1978. Used ... $14.99
Classic work from one of the grooviest Japanese big bands of the 70s – a great combo who mix lots of great keyboard lines with soaring horn passages – all in a style that's as evocative as the title image and cover! There's a very special feel to the record – a mode that's different than the 70s electric big bands from Europe, like some of the MPS groups – as the approach is often very unified, with a bit less sense of solo voice – yet still filled with lots of personality and humanity along the way. Masaru Imada plays electric piano, Masayuki Nakatomi plays Arp and mini moog, and Himiko Kikuchi plays Fender Rhodes and clavinet – and while the horns solo more than the keyboards, those electric elements really help give the record a very cool sound – with kind of a fluid, watery feel at times. Two tracks feature wordless female vocals – and titles include "Back To The Sea", "Swingin On The Horizon", "When Waves Sing", "Natural Flow", and "Merman's Dance". CD
(Includes obi.)
Also available Back To The Sea ... CD 19.99

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bingo Miki & The Inner Galaxy OrchestraBack To The Sea ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Classic work from one of the grooviest Japanese big bands of the 70s – a great combo who mix lots of great keyboard lines with soaring horn passages – all in a style that's as evocative as the title image and cover! There's a very special feel to the record – a mode that's different than the 70s electric big bands from Europe, like some of the MPS groups – as the approach is often very unified, with a bit less sense of solo voice – yet still filled with lots of personality and humanity along the way. Masaru Imada plays electric piano, Masayuki Nakatomi plays Arp and mini moog, and Himiko Kikuchi plays Fender Rhodes and clavinet – and while the horns solo more than the keyboards, those electric elements really help give the record a very cool sound – with kind of a fluid, watery feel at times. Two tracks feature wordless female vocals – and titles include "Back To The Sea", "Swingin On The Horizon", "When Waves Sing", "Natural Flow", and "Merman's Dance". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)
Also available Back To The Sea ... CD 14.99

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kosuke Mine2nd Album ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $19.99
A great album from one of the greatest Japanese reedmen of the 70s – a player who's not that well known on our shores, but who served up a run of great little records like this at the time! Kosuke Mine has this sound that's sharp, but extremely fluid too – a way of running fast with lots of notes, each of which feels individually shaped with a nice sort of edge – but at a level that all works together beautifully, and which retains a very soulful, spiritual approach! The tracks here are all nice and long – a perfect showcase for his inventive, imaginative approach on alto and soprano sax – with nice solo elements from Takashi Imoi on trombone, held together by some great guitar lines from Yoshiaki Masuo, who plays with this style that's a lot more like a keyboard overall. Titles include "YM", "Brother In Law", "Striped Slacks", and "Chin San". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Toshiyuki Miyama & His New HerdGallery ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $19.99
The New Herd group of Toshiyuki Miyama was one of the most creative larger ensembles in Japan during the 70s – a group that was neither slavish to the sort of older modes you might guess from the "herd" reference to Woody Herman's band, nor tied up in some of the more commercial directions that some of the other big bands were taking at the time! Instead, they had an ear for the new developments in color, tone, and phrasing that opened up in groups like this in the post-Kenton generation – but managed to swing a bit more too – never too bogged down in their own sense of perfection to loosen up at all the right times. You'll hear the group at their best here on this late 70s album – on titles that include "Grand Guignol", "Fancy Ball", "A Falling Star", "Art Gallery", "Flower Arrangement", and "Blue Sail". CD

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Toshiyuki Miyama & The New HerdSunday Thing ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.99
The New Herd of Toshiyuki Miyama was one of the greatest large ensembles in Japanese jazz during the 70s – and here, they've got an extra-special sort of sound, thanks to the presence of guitarist Kozaburo Yamaki – who not only solos on all tracks, but also wrote some great original material for the record! Yamaki's tunes have this rising sort of majesty that makes the Herd sound even more powerful than usual – some spiritual currents they don't always have, and which are underscored both by the guitar lines, and the way the rhythms build nicely on the longer tunes. Titles include "Sunday Thing", "Friends", "Plain Song", "Sweet Heart Blues", "Soft Rain", and "Memories". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Naosuke MiyamotoStep! ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $19.99
A group led by bassist Naosuke Miyamoto, but one that features some especially great horn work in the lead! The ensemble's a sextet, and features a three-point frontline with trumpet from Kunji Shigi, alto from Takashi Furuya, and tenor and soprano from Takeshi Goto – really stretching out on a batch of tracks that build strongly from 60s soul jazz expression, but take the tunes to a hipper sort of 70s level. Key numbers include the Harold Land compositions "Step Right Up To The Bottom" and "A New Shade Of Blue" – both of which feature tremendous horn interplay – plus the originals "Where Do They Go", "Blues", and "One For Trane". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Shuko MizunoJazz Orchestra 73 ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A really striking mix of straight jazz and avant moments – served up here by a Japanese ensemble who were definitely ahead of the curve for their generation! The record stands as one of a handful of excellent Japanese dates of this sort – music that really pushes the boundaries of the jazz orchestra format – maybe not in the way of an improvising orchestra, but with colors, tones, and instrumental passages that move in modes that are far past the modern jazz groups of this type from the 50s and 60s! The set features work by some great soloists – Terumasa Hino on trumpet, Kenji Mori on alto, Hideto Kanai on bass, Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, Shuko Mizuno on organ, and Joe Mizuki on percussion – and although the whole thing works well as a whole, the second half breaks out into a few more swinging moments. CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Shuko MizunoWorld Of Shuko Mizuno – Live In 5 Days In Jazz 76 ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A fantastic criss-crossing of modes – free jazz, funk, big band, and fusion – all styles that were blooming big on the Japanese scene of the 70s – wrapped up and reworked here into something new entirely! The set's a live one, and features extended performances from a range of great players who were key to the scene at the time – coming together here under the leadership of keyboardist Shumko Mizuno on the first half, and working with the New Herd of Toshiyuki Miyama on the second! Mizuno wrote all three tracks – and plays both keyboards and drums on the first – alongside a shifting lineup of players who include Seiichi Nakamura on tenor, Kenji Mori on alto, Hideto Kanai on bass, and Kazumi Watanabe on guitar! Titles include the avant "Dum", the sharper "Concentration", and the side-long jam "Jazz Orchestra 75 Part 2". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)
Also available World Of Shuko Mizuno – Live In 5 Days In Jazz 76 (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD 29.99

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sanae MizushimaYou've Got A Friend ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
One of the more unusual Japanese vocal albums we've heard from the 70s – served up by a singer who does a nice job evoking a variety of modes! Sanae Mizushima sometimes comes across with a spirit like she's a backroom singer from the early part of the 20th Century – other times can ease into a tune with a much more 70s-styled mode – but always with a voice that also retains some of its original Japanese phrasing on the English lyrics, which gives all the tunes a very unique shape and timbre! Backing is by a trio with Hideo Ichikawa on piano, who adapts very strongly to the different spirits of the tunes – in a lineup that includes "Stormy Weather", "Yesterday", "See See Rider", "I Don't Want To Cry", "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", and "You've Got A Friend". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mari NakamotoMari ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Mari Nakamoto is a jazz singer with a wonderful sense of tone – a musicality in her voice that comes through on the first few notes of the record, then continues throughout as she transforms familiar tunes with that special sort of magic that marks a rare breed of jazz vocalist! Nakamoto really understands the tunes, and clearly sees her voice as much as an instrument as just the conveyor of lyrics – very much in a Sarah Vaughan sort of school, although Mari's certainly got her own sense of phrasing too. Instrumentation includes lots of great touches that bring out the best in her voice – including vibes from Kazuhiro Matsushi, and guitar from Shoji Yokouchi – on titles that include "Love For Sale", "On A Clear Day", "Day By Day", "On Green Dolphin Street", and "No Moon At All". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mari Nakamoto & Shoji YokouchiLittle Girl Blue ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $19.99
Warmly wonderful work from singer Mari Nakamoto – perfectly recorded in a warm Three Blind Mice manner that really suits her style! As with some of the other records on the label at the time, the vibe here is a bit laidback – but in a great way, which lets Mari slink forward in the lead, often with some nicely soulful currents – amidst guitar lines from Shoji Yokouchi, and some occasional organ from Yuri Tashiro – balanced out nicely with some lean work on bass and drums. Titles include a great take on "Bag's Groove" – plus "Song For You", "Black Coffee", "Dreamsville", "I Wanna Be Around", and "Good Morning Heartache" – all done in nicely laidback, open takes! CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Seiichi NakamuraAdventure In My Dream ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A great tenor saxophonist from the Japanese scene of the 70s – heard here in one of his hippest settings ever! Seiichi Nakamura really knows how to stretch things out, yet still keep things interesting – working here with a strong sense of rhythm that's really augmented by the use of guitar in the group alongside piano, bass, and drums – and instrument handled by Kiyoshi Sugimoto with these wide flares that roll along beautifully and give the rhythm a strong sense of color – while Nakamura blows these brilliantly bold lines over the top! Most tracks push past the ten minute mark, and more are very creative originals by Nakamura too – with titles that include "Himalayas", "Adventure In My Dream", and "Too Beauty". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches27
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Teruo NakamuraUnicorn ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A landmark album from the Japanese fusion scene of the 70s – a killer set of tracks recorded by bassist Teruo Nakamura, with help from a host of American soul jazz luminaries! The album's easily one of Nakamura's most sought-after sets – and for good reason too, as the cuts are long and jamming, but also have a soulful component too – a bit of the post-Coltrane spiritualism of some of Gary Bartz's early albums, and some of the open-ended styles you might hear on a label like Strata East! Nakamura's a bassist from the Japanese scene – but the record was cut in New York with a great lineup of American heavyweights – including Hubert Eaves and George Cables on keyboards, Charles Sullivan on trumpet, and Steve Grossman on tenor – plus Alphonse Mouzon and Lenny White on drums. Singer Sandy Hewitt sings on 2 tracks – including the funky "Umma Be Me", which almost feels like an Andy Bey groover from the same time – and the cut "Understanding". Other instrumental tracks include "Some Other Blues", "Derrick's Dance", "Unicorn Lady", and "New Moon". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Kunio OhtaMy Back Pages ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
An overlooked gem from the Three Blind Mice catalog of the 70s – a date that's led by pianist Kunio Ohta, but which features some excellent reed work from Masamiki Takano too! The record's got that open, creative spirit that we love from the label's best work in the decade – almost as if the group is trying to make sure they're never pegged down to one style at all, as they open up in new directions on every track on the set! The title tune is a beautiful 16 minute take on Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" – and also features trumpet from Katsuhiko Matsuura, too – who plays on the titles "Mar Y Sol" and "My Ship" as well. The album also features a great take on "St Thomas", which is an excellent workout for Takano's tenor. CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Yoshio OtomoMoon Ray ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Beautiful alto from Yoshio Otmo – a player who brings an old school style of soul to his horn, but who also works here in the leaner, more modern mode of the Three Blind Mice label! The title track starts the album off with a wonderful sense of bite – a brilliant take on "Moon Ray" that really illustrates the unique blend of modern and personal that Otmo brings to his horn – followed by a wonderful interpretation of "Emily" that's both sentimental and inventive at the same time. Other tracks follow in a similarly unique feel – very much the best mix of freedom without indulgence that the Three Blind Mice label at that the time. The group features strong piano work by Tsuyoshi Yamamoto – and titles include "Moon Ray", "If I Should Lose You", "Love Comes Quietly", "Emily", and "Shufflin". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches30
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Yoshio Otomo/Hidefumi Toki Alto MadnessLover Man ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Twin alto sax work from the leaders – blowing here together with a really rich sound that almost feels like some of Phil Woods alto-heavy dates from years back, but with a vibe that's more 70s Japanese as well! The pair are both great soloists on their own – and step out in the lead on boppish tracks, but with phrasing that's far beyond just hokey Charlie Parker cliches – given an even more modern sense of expression through the quintet's use of guitarist Kazumi Watanabe, alongside bass and drums. The set features 11 minute takes on both "Lover Man" and "Scrapple From The Apple" – plus the side-long original "Blues For T&O", which runs for 19 minutes! CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches31
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
George OtsukaPhysical Structure ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99
Japanese drummer George Otsuka is always one hell of a hip cat – one of those players whose name on a record always means that we'll pick it up – and never fail to hear something wonderful! And while Otsuka first got his start working with a piano trio at the end of the 60s, this sweet set from the mid 70s really has him stretching out nicely – working with a freewheeling group that has plenty of spiritual elements – but in that gentler avant mode you'd find in the Japanese scene of the time. The set's got some especially great Fender Rhodes and piano from Fumio Karashima, plus tenor and soprano sax from Shozo Sasaki – and all tracks are nice and long, and really let the instrumentation build up in this flowing, organic sort of way. Mitsuaki Furuno plays bass, and Norio Ohno adds in a bit of extra percussion too – and titles include a nice reading of "Naima", with lots of fast-moving congas – plus "Physical Structure", "Mustard Pot", and "Little Island". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)
Also available Physical Structure ... LP 32.99

Close matches32
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Allan PraskinEncounter ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $19.99
One of the most unusual albums in the Three Blind Mice jazz catalog of the 70s – a set recorded by overlooked American reedman Allan Praskin, who really opens up in the Japanese setting of the record! Praskin is a player who worked strongly on the European scene for decades – mostly in a modern jazz mode, and with an angular, sharp sound on this set – of the sort that should have made him huge! There's a soulfulness to Praskin's alto that really gives the set a bit more depth than some of the other TBM dates – and he works in a cool piano-less quartet that features Kiyoshi Sugimoto on guitar, Yoshio Ikeda on bass, and Motohiko Hino on drums! All three players really hit some wonderful rhythmic formations – giving the record as much fresh energy as Praskin's horn – and titles include the funky "Height Of Spring", plus "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise", "Reflectors", "Encounters", and "Blues Connotation". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Isao SuzukiTouch ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99
Stunning sounds from Japanese bassist Isao Suzuki – a 70s player who seemed to owe nothing to anyone else on the planet with a recording like this! The set is partly fusion at the start, but never in a way that's like any of Suzuki's American counterparts – in that he can get full and a bit funky, but always keeps this looser, more open approach – a special ear for sound that really sets the record apart, and which has those longer, flowing tracks that you'll find on some of Suzuki's other records of the time. Then there's plenty of acoustic moments, too – but with an ear that understands the electric qualities of the instrument – balanced with work from Kunihiko Sugano on piano, Tatsujiro Ohara on drums, and Katsumi Watanabe on guitar – plus a bit of congas from Yoichi Ogawa. All tracks are long – and titles include "She's Funny That Way", "Doing Down The Mountain Path", "Touch", and "Round Midnight". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Isao Suzuki TrioBlack Orpheus ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99
A beautifully spare session from the mid 70s – one that features bass and cello from Isao Suzuki – stretching out here in a sound that's totally unique! The trio's a great one – with Donald Bailey on drums and Tsuyoshi Yamamoto on both acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes – the latter of which sounds amazing next to Suzuki mellow-stepping lines. If you've heard any of Suzuki's other albums from the period, the style is somewhat similar – quite soulful throughout, but with an easygoing, open feel that's quite different than many American sessions of this nature – and which makes it clear that the bassist is the leader, not the pianist! Titles include a great version of "Manha De Carnaval", plus "Angel Eyes", "In A Sentimental Mood", "Who Can I Turn To", and "Blues". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Tatsuya Takahashi & The Tokyo UnionMaiden Voyage ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Just about any record with Maiden Voyage in the title turns out to be pretty darn great – and this record is no exception! The set's a sweet mix of electric and acoustic modes from Japanese tenorist Tatsuya Takahashi – played by his Tokyo Union group, and featuring electric piano and bass nestled in amidst the larger horn section – all in a great blend of big band jazz and funkier modes! The title track is a great cover of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" – taken in a spacious, open way that has some weird electronics bubbling underneath – and other highlights include a great wah wah funk version of "One Mint Julep", a stepping version of "Sir Duke" with some vocoder, and a driving big band version of "Giant Steps". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Masayuki Takayanagi & Kaoru AbeStation 70 ... LP
Craftman (Japan), 1970. New Copy (reissue)... Just Sold Out!
Really mindblowing work from Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi – a player we know from other records, but who may well be in one of his most creative settings here – a batch of live improvisations with the equally great reedman Karou Abe! Often, Takayanagi is playing with qualities that really echo some of the experiments of Derek Bailey in the early 70s – on both electric and acoustic guitars, but also with a much more spacious approach overall – which seems to bring out a very different spirit in Abe – who blows alto sax and harmonica, and also plays shakuhachi. The album would be right at home on a label like Incus – and titles include "Thursday/Gradually Projection" and "Jha/Gradually Projection". LP, Vinyl record album

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Masayuki Takayanagi & New Direction For The ArtsFree Form Suite ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A really compelling set from this important Japanese group of the 70s – a quartet headed up by guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi – but which features a very complex balance of work from all the individual members! The set initially begins with a traditional vibe, but then seems to step out with each new track – almost encompassing a history of modern jazz in the music, then moving past with its own sense of invention! Masayuki's guitar rings out on the spare "The Blues", which begins – but then moves aside for free flute work from Kenji Mori on a mindblowing take of "You Don't Know What Love Is" – almost handled with a late Dolphy vibe. "Sun In The East" has the ensemble moving boldly together – with double drums and percussion from Joe Mizuki and Hiroshi Yamazaki – and the set concludes with the extended "Free Form Suite" – a tune that definitely lives up to its name! CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Tee & CompanyDragon Garden ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Sounds beyond compare – one of those really special 70s sessions from the Japanese Three Blind Mice label – put together in a way that almost seems to be a genre unto itself! The group here have a keen understanding of advances in free jazz and fusion, but work with a deeper spiritual undercurrent and a great sense of sound (shaped by producer Takashi "Tee" Fujii) – so that their individual instrumental elements flow together in rich new ways that are sometimes subtle, sometimes quite righteous! The lineup shifts a bit from track to track – and the set features xcellent work on flute and bass clarinet from Kenji Mori, electric piano from Masaru Imada, tenor from Takao Uematsu, and bass and cello from Nobuyoshi Ino. Titles include "End Of November", "Mort", "Our Foolish", and "Dragon Garden". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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Tee & CompanySonnet ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
The "Tee" here is Takashi Fujii – who doesn't play on the record, but instead arranged with the group – and produced the record with the really deep, complex sound we've come to love on 70s releases from the Three Blind Mice label! The group has a relatively spiritual approach right from the start – almost free, but more soulfully directed overall, and definitely with the sense of poetry you'd expect from the title! Takao Uematso serves up some great tenor sax, and Kenji Mori plays both soprano and tenor – in a group that also features Masaru Imada on electric and acoustic piano, Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, and Hiroshi Murakomi on drums. Both tracks are long – and titles include "Combo 77" and "Sonnet". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Tee & CompanySpanish Flower ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Richly layered sounds from this wonderfully sensitive group – an ensemble from 70s Japan who really seem to find the best sort of way to allow each individual a special role in the music, while still also moving forward strongly as a group! As with other albums by the combo, the instrumentation here is really compelling – a mix of flute and clarinet from Kenji Mori, tenor and bass clarinet from Takao Uematsu, piano from Masaru Imada, 12 string guitar from Masayuki Takayanagi, tabla and percussion from Yuji Imamura, and cello and bass from Nobuyoshi Ino. The cello, tablas, and flute sound especially wonderful – working out some beautifully sensitive sounds amidst a bolder lineup in the lead – and the album features two long tracks, "A Tree Frog" and "Spanish Flower". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Sunao WadaBlues Blues Blues ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A record with "blues" in the title, but a set that's pure jazz all the way through – and very much in the best spirit of the Three Blind Mice label in the 70s! Guitarist Sunao Wada is working here with a really wonderful group – Masaru Imada on piano and organ, Isao Suzuki on bass and cello, and Tatsujiro Obara on drums – all players who can swing straight one minute, then open up to new ideas and arrangements the next – taking the soul jazz roots of Wada's guitar into some really great territory as the modes and instrumentation shift over the course of the record. Titles include "A Good Deal Of The Blues", "Ocha Ocha", "Local Men's Blues", "Nothing But The Blues", and "Blues Men". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Sunao WadaBlues World ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $19.99
Beautiful sounds from Japanese guitarist Sunao Wada – a player who's rich in tones and colors here, and not just the blue ones mentioned in the title! There's an open flow to the record that's really wonderful – maybe the maturity of the Wes Montgomery sound of the late 60s, but set up in an earlier sort of style – with Hammond from Ushio Sakai, bass from Mitsuaki Furuno, and drums from Arihide Kurata – all given the impeccable production touches you'd expect from the Three Blind Mice label! Takao Uematsu adds a bit of tenor to the record, and titles include "Now See How You Are", "Blues World", "Falling In Love With Love", and "Blues For Charlie Christian". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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Tsuyoshi YamamotoMidnight Sun ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $19.99
One of the most sensitively soulful records of the 70s from pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto – a set that still has him working in a trio format, but which also has a slightly more mellow feel overall – with some especially great work from the leader on the ballads! Yamamoto's style is maturing strongly here – and he's got this commanding spectrum of sound from the piano – gentle right hand passages and deep left hand lines – all nicely balanced with work from Tsutomo Okada on bass and Keiji Kishida on drums. Titles include "Billy Boy", "A Shade Of Love", "Midnight Sun", "Autumn Leaves", "Wave", "Blue Manhattan", and "Kid". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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Tsuyoshi YamamotoSummertime ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
Great work from one of the most dynamic Japanese pianists of the 70s – a player who's straighter than some of his contemporaries, but also has a very soulful swing as well! Tsuyoshi Yamamoto really opens up in a live setting – and concert dates like this represent some of his best work ever – a really open, flowing format that has Yamamoto moving in territory that's a bit like Oscar Peterson at his live best – but which also allows for a bit more of the free play that Japanese trios of the time were hitting. The group features excellent work on bass from Akira Daiyoshi and drums from Shinji Mori – and titles include "Like Someone In Love", "Cookin The Blues", "Summertime", and "The Way You Look Tonight". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Shoji Yokouchi with Yuri TashiroGreensleeves ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A jazz guitar/Hammond organ session – the former by Shoji Yokouchi, the latter by Yuri Tashiro – but a variation on the form that's quite different than usual, and very much in the groundbreaking style of the Three Blind Mice label! Shoji plays a few different guitars – both acoustic and electric – and rather than just ape an American use of guitar next to organ, the style here is often nicely changed up – partly because the phrasing can be different when the guitar is acoustic, but also because in true Three Blind Mice form, the arrangements are often very inventive and unusual. Other players include Kunimitsu Inaba on bass and Hajime Ishimatsu on drums – and titles include "New Orleans Sunday", "Drink Up Vodka Martini", "Misty", "Moanin", "Greensleeves", and "Your Watch Is Ten Minutes Slow". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Masaru ImadaGreen Caterpillar ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A great little record from the Japanese scene of the 70s – a set that not only shows the great blend of acoustic and electric styles that was happening at the time, but which also really illustrates the inventive approach of the Three Blind Mice label at their best! The vibe here is very different than the usual Japanese fusion album of the time – a bit more relaxed and open-ended, and really free to play around with different rhythms and tonal changes – yet all while still moving forward, and avoiding some of the proggy, jamming modes of the European scene. Tracks all push past the ten minute mark – and in addition to both piano and electric piano from Masaru Imada, the set also features guitar from Kazumi Watanabi, bass from Osoo Fukui, drums from Tetsujiro Obara, and percussion from Yuji Imamura. Titles include "A Green Caterpillar", "Straight Flash", "Blue Impulse", and "Spanish Flower". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Kosuke MineMine ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Early work from this tremendous Japanese saxophonist – working here on both alto and soprano sax, in styles that are sharply angular, but also quite warm and soulful! Kosuke Mine's got a quality that's a bit like Joe Henderson at the same time – obviously informed by earlier hardbop, but let loose in some bolder lines that snake out with a rich, bold feel that's totally great. His group here features Fender Rhodes from Hideo Ichikawa – possibly further underscoring some of the Henderson electric styles of the set – and other players include Takashi Imai on trombone, Takashi Mizuhashi on bass, and Hiroshi Murakami on drums. The record's got a nice sense of freedom, but is never too far outside – and titles include a version of Joe Henderson's "Isotope", plus the originals "Morningtide", "Dream Eyes", and "Work I". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Shunzo OhnoMaya ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Japanese trumpeter Shunzo Ohno gave us some great records in the 70s – and this later date for the Three Blind Mice label is equally great, but in a very different sort of way! Here, Ohno's working with a group of American players, in a nicely burning sort of way – work from a young Steve Wilson on alto, Renee Rosnes on piano, James Genus on bass, and Billy Drummond on drums – all musicians you'll know well if you dig American jazz from the period, and who will give you a great idea of the rock-solid approach of the set! Ray Spiegel adds in tablas on one track – and titles include "Stella By Starlight", "Maya", "On Going", "First Step", and "He Said So". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Masayuki TakayanagiLonely Woman ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pretty darn beautiful album of solo guitar tracks – recorded in 1982 by Japanese musician Masayuki Takayanagi, and featuring only electric guitar, played with a spare raspy edge – recorded in a rough style that's quite unusual for a Japanese jazz session of the time! However, it's this style of recording that really brings out the best of the album – as the complicated stylings of Takayanagi ring out with a much more honest sound than you'd expect on an album of this nature – reminding us more of earlier work by Lee Konitz collaborator Billy Bauer than most of the late 70s guitar heroes from Japan! The sound is beautiful throughout – and titles include a version of Charlie Haden's "Song For Che", a reading of Lennie Tristano's "Lennie's Pennies", and a great version of Ornette's "Lonely Woman". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Close matches50
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✨✧ Shigeko Toya with The Masaru ImadaYokohama Concert ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A split session of material – both sides recorded during the same concert in Yokohama, but with one side of instrumental work, and one side of vocals! Pianist Masaru Imada starts things out with three really beautiful original tunes – pieces that blend together some modal rhythms with some of the freer energy that he and his Japanese scene were opening up at the time – not avant modes, by wonderfully lyrical progressions that are urged on here by work from Isoo Fukui on bass and Tetsujiro Obara on drums! Both players continue on the vocal tracks, which have singer Shigeko Toya in the lead – and the quartet are also joined by Kenji Mori on alto on two tracks too. Instrumental tunes include "Ascent", "On The Green Pavement", and "Shadows In Spring" – and vocal numbers include "Call Me Irresponsible", "I'll Be Seeing You", "Fine & Mellow", and "Willow Weep For Me". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Tsuyoshi YamamotoLive In Montreux ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A smoking live set from pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto – working here not in a small Tokyo club, but on the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival – where he's clearly drawing inspiration from the global lineup to blow away most of the competition! Tracks are long, and really have Yamamoto hitting hard throughout – drawing strong inspiration from his influences on the American scene, but also showing some deeper, more sensitive styles too – that growing sense of feeling he brought to his music as the 70s wore on – really summed up perfectly here! The trio features Kunimitsu Inaba on bass and Tetsujiro Obara on drums – and titles include "Nanatsu No Ko", "It's All Right With Me", "Almost Like Being In Love", "Girl Of My Dreams", and "A Shade Of Love". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ AirAir ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Not the Chicago group of AACM fame, but a completely different Japanese combo from the 70s – a very cool outfit who are equally avant in their approach – and work together in a very spiritual blend of acoustic and electric sounds! The album features one long track, improvised in a very organic way – so that the spare sounds build up into these parts rich in meaning, but still with plenty of sharp edges – based on work from Yasuo Shimura on flute, amplified soprano sax, Arp, and radio; Renkichi Hayashi on guitar, ring modulator, and other effects; Nobuyoshi Ino on electric and acoustic bass, Turkish guitar, and tape recorder; Hiroshi Murakami on drums and percussion; and Yuji Imamura on amplified and acoustic tabla, plus other percussion. The sound's as compelling as the instrumental lineup – and the album's comprised of one long jamming track "Air (parts 1 & 2)", with a groove that ranges from funky and break-oriented, to wild and free out-oriented soloing. CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)
Also available Air (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD 36.99

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✨✧ Masaru ImadaNow ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Subtle brilliance from Japanese pianist Masaru Imada – a record that bubbles beautifully with some spare and personal touches – sometimes slightly free, sometimes wonderfully melodic – always with a strong sense of vision and energy! The group here features Imada on acoustic piano, alongside bass, drums, and some especially great tenor and soprano sax from Ichiro Mimori – often played with some slightly sharp edges, but also a surprising degree of soul – a heartfelt, personal quality that slides alongside Imada's piano in a soaring dance of colors and tones. Titles are all originals, and include "Nostalgia", "Alter", "Gehi Dorian", and "The Shadow Of The Castle". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Masaru ImadaStandards ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The tunes are standards, but they're played with a great sense of personality by Japanese pianist Masaru Imada – ringing out with great sound and a strong focus, and recorded in that beautiful mode that was used heavily with Japanese trios in the 70s. The style is often fluid, but measured by a nice pulse on the keys – a bit in an Oscar Peterson mode, but far less heavy with cliche – and often snapping out with a fresh sense of rediscovery in some of these tunes. Members of the trio include Ken Suzuki on bass and Hironobu Fujisawa on drums – and titles include "I Can't Get Started", "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise", "Falling In Love With Love", "Days Of Wine & Roses", "What's New", and "It Could Happen To You". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Fumio KarashimaGathering ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A great pianist in a really great trio – on a record that's wonderful not just for the piano lines of Fumio Karashima, but also for the bass of Isao Suzuki and drums of George Otsuka! All three players were really reinventing the sound of jazz on the Japanese scene of the 70s – and all musicians have strong knowledge of modern elements, but also have no trouble expressing themselves in warmer, more lyrical ways as well – which makes for a depth of emotion that really shows the Three Blind Mice label at its best. The tracks are long, open, and expressive in ways that are never indulgent – and titles include "Tones For Joan's Bones", "Gringo", "Gathering", and "Once We Loved". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Hidefumi TokiToki ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Deeply personal work from Japanese saxophonist Hidefumi Toki – a player who manages accomplish a great deal in a fairly stripped down setting – filling spare space with gentle notes on alto and soprano sax, often delivered with a nicely raspy tone! The group here is a quartet – with Kazumi Watanabe on guitar, Nobuyoshi Ino on bass, and Steve Jackson on drums – and the setting is laidback and mellow, often moving at a pace that's slow, but always flowing with a great gentle swing. Tracks are long, and titles include the great originals "Darkness", "Lullaby For The Girl" and "Old Song Blues" – plus nice takes "When Sunny Gets Blue" and Ornette Coleman's "Blues". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Sunao Wada QuintetFour Scenes ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Guitarist Sunao Wada always has a way of giving us something special on record – and that's definitely the case this time around, as his core combo is joined by some great work from Minor Ikeno on alto and flute! But that guest performance is only part of the really unique sound of the record – as the group also has some vocal moments from percussionist Hitomi Ueda, who sings wordlessly, almost as an instrument – in a combo that also features Shizuo Nakayama on Fender Rhodes, Kazuaki Yamamoto on bass, and Joki Yamada on drums! The set features four long tracks, all originals by Sunao – and the record's got that really unique mixing of styles that you'll often find on a Three Blind Mice label release from the 70s – as the imprint was clearly trying for a new voice in Japanese jazz. Titles include "Sunset On The Street", "Jumping Dog", "Shimmer Of The Morning Sun", and "Ambushin The Blues". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Tsuyoshi YamamotoMidnight Sugar ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The midnight sugar here comes from pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto – who's playing with a soulful, bluesy sort of style – one that reminds us a bit of Ray Bryant back in the 60s, but which also comes across here with a fair bit of lighter, lyrical touches as well! As with other Three Blind Mice albums from the time, the tracks here are all longish and open-ended – recorded with a nice sort of brightness that breaks from other jazz traditions, and moving in surprising ways at each new twist and turn. The group also features the great Isao Fukui on bass and Tetsujiro Obara on drums – and titles include "I'm A Fool To Want You", "Midnight Sugar", "The Nearness Of You", and "Sweet Georgia Blues". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Tsuyoshi Yamamoto/George OtsukaNow's The Time ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pair of live performances – both of them great, and both done in the very open, creative style of the Three Blind Mice label at the time! Side one features core work by the trio of pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, but with key guest work from Isao Suzuki on cello and Sunao Wada on guitar – both players who really open up the groove a lot! Suzuki solos in this great way on a long version of "Polka Dots & Moonbeams", and also makes an appearance on "Midnight Sugar" – which also has a long, soulful solo from Wada on guitar. Side two features a long take on "Now's The Time" – done in a freewheeling jam session mode – with Yoshio Otomo and Kenji Mori on alto sax, Takao Uematsu and Mabumi Yamaguchi on tenors, and Toshiyuki Daitoku on Fender Rhodes – all in a group led by drummer George Otsuka. CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Blossom DearieBlossom Dearie Sings Rootin' Songs ... CD
Hires Hits/Craftman (Japan), 1963. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of Blossom Dearie's hippest albums – done in that lightly grooving style that makes her 60s work some of our favorite! The style is groovier than Dearie's already-great work on Verve – a bit in the mode of her Capitol Recordings, and some of her British 60s gems from overseas – and the album's got Blossom on vocals and piano, working with a small combo led by pianist Joe Harnell, whose arrangements are really wonderful, and show a bit of his love of bossa. The quintet also features Jerome Richardson on tenor and flute, adding in some really nice touches – soulful horn inflections that really give the album a richer sound than some of Dearie's previous records. The set list is great, too – with some very nice 60s pop tunes that have Blossom working in territory that brings out her dreamy best! Titles include "What Kind Of Fool Am I", "I've Got Your Number", "Days Of Wine & Roses", "I Wanna Be Around", "The Sweetest Sounds", "Desafinado", and "Fly My To The Moon". CD

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✨✧ Masaru ImadaPoppy ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really lovely piano work from Masaru Imada – a player who's a bit gentler than some of his Japanese contemporaries of the early 70s, but who also works with this wonderfully lyrical tone! Imada does a great job of balancing a sense of flow with a punctuated approach to the keys – never overdone, and often with this spacious sensibility – but more pointed than a Bill Evans style as well. The first half of the album is solo material, and the second features a trio – bass is by Isoo Fukui and drums are by Mashiko Ozu – both players who step into Imada's world in a way that's subtle, but extremely effective. Titles include "Poppy", "Sea Weeds", "Ascent", "Left Alone", and "When Sunny Gets Blue". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Shigeko ToyaShigeko Toya With The Imada Masaru Trio ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An unusual little session from early 70s Japan – one that features some jazz vocals from Shigeko Toya, but also a fair bit of piano as well – set alongside backing from the trio of Masaru Imada, who plays organ on the numbers that don't feature Toya on the piano! If that sounds confusing, it's not meant to be – and is more a reflection of the many-voiced style of the set – because the record's less a vocal album than kind of a three-pointed set that features some straight piano numbers, some with torchy vocals, and others that have the organ bringing in a bluesier tone. Toya's vocal style is a bit unusual, and not for the uninitiated – but it does make her stand out in a world of straighter Japanese singers from the time. Titles include "Tadd's Blues", "Hymn To Freedom", "Yesterday", "Can't Help Lovin Dat Man", and "Call Me Irresponsible". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

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✨✧ Shoji YokouchiBlonde On The Rocks ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A great title, and a great little album to match – one that features two guitars, plus bass and drums – in an open-ended style that's mighty nice on the ears! The set's got a lean kind of sound – as you might expect from the lineup – and Japanese players Shoji Yokouchi and Toru Konishi really explore some great territory in jazz with the format. Some numbers actually have a fair bit of a groove – with one guitar playing rhythm, and the other doing solos – while others have more of a spacious, more contemplative feel – a bit like some of the 70s work of Jim Hall. There's definitely a Hall-like sense of space and timing going on here, but as with many Three Blind Mice sessions from the time, the album's also filled with surprises too. Titles include "The Night Comers", "Swingin On A Camel", "Blonde On The Rocks", "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise", and "Message". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)
 
 
 



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