Impact ... CD Paddle Wheel/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. New Copy ...
Pianist FumioItabashi's definitely making an impact with this record – pushing his music even farther than before with some inventive, creative arrangements that make strong use of trumpet, trombone, and tenor sax! Itabashi's piano is at the core of the record, but he's moving in ways that are quite different than previous albums – almost avant at points, yet never too far out – just angular and exploratory, in ways that really seem to bring out some bold voicings in the horns! Players are all in Japanese, so we can't tell you their names – and although the cut "Little Mayu" is a bit straight, it's more than made up for by the cuts "Tokyo Blues", "F1", "Last Summer", and "All The Things You Are". CD
A really unusual performance from Japanese pianist FumioItabashi – who returns here to Watarase, a site that inspired his most famous album in the 70s! Itabashi plays here outdoors – a really amazing setting for a grand piano – yet his work on the instrument is ever bit as bold and powerful as when it's captured in the closeness of the studio – although maybe taking off with even more inspiration from nature, which is always something that Fumio brings to his unique combination of lyrical lines and magical flow! The performance runs for approximately 63 minutes, and all other notes are in Japanese, or else we'd tell you more. DVD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series! DVD is NTSC – All Region.)
A nicely biting session from Japanese pianist FumioItabashi – a set that rounds out his trio with guest alto sax and guitar on a few of the cuts, which makes for a fuller, more driven sound overall! There's definitely a soulful groove to the set – kind of an 80s soulbop mode overall – and Itabashi's piano is recorded with a bright tone that sets the record apart from American efforts of the time, a slightly different feel than his 70s material at points, although some of the best numbers still have those comping lines we love so much in his music. Titles include "Don't Say Goodbye", "I'm Gone", "Mina", "Alicante", "Red Apple", and "Beatrice". CD
A really special slice of Japanese jazz from the 70s – tracks from the sorts of records that make that scene so different than any others we can think of – especially in the way the musicians evolved familiar styles into personal grooves of their own! Instrumentation varies with each track, and often includes a fusing of acoustic elements with a few slight electric touches – almost never in familiar fusion ways, but instead with this organic energy that's really wonderful – and which gives almost all of these tunes a really special sort of glow! The quality of the music is a bit hard to sum up in words, but the package provides a perfect introduction to the range of great Japanese jazz albums issued by Columbia in the 70s – with titles that include "Shrimp Dance" by Hiroshi Suzuki, "On The Horizon" by Kazumi Watanabe, "Love More Train" by Terumasa Hino, "Breeze" by Hiromasa Suzuki, "Up Into The Sky" by FumioItabashi, "Babylonia Wind" by Kiyoshi Sugimoto, and "For My Little Bird" by Shigeru Mukai. CD