Primrose ... LP Union/Le Tres Jazz Club (France), 1978. New Copy (reissue)...
Warm and wonderful work from pianist HiromasaSuzuki – a real leading light in the Japanese trio scene of the 70s! The album's got a really wonderful vibe throughout – modes initially informed by a bit of Bill Evans, and maybe some Tommy Flanagan too – recorded with warm tones and a nice sort of sparkle – yet never in a commercial way, just with that clear, clean sound that makes so many Japanese trio dates from this time so great. Suzuki takes off nicely on some tunes, but never goes too far outside – and a few others have a slightly straighter feel – showing his balanced emotion on the keys, as well as his strong compositional abilities, as all tunes here appear to be originals. The trio features Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and Steve Jackson on drums – the latter of whom is especially nice – and titles include "Hornet", "Primrose", "Dis-Charge", "Pincer Attack", "Early Summer", and "Knick Knacks". LP, Vinyl record album
A great bit of fusion from the start of the 70s – kind of a bridge between the late 60s "groovy" Japanese jazz, and some of the freer-thinking work to come! The group features excellent tenor from Takeru Muraoka, who plays with kind of a sharp edge that almost echoes more of the alto and soprano work of the generation – mixed with keyboards from HiromasaSuzuki – who's plenty great on electric piano! Hiroshi Suzuki plays trombone, and the set's got some nice funky drums from Akira Ishikawa – who's always a treat. Overall, the set often has some of the same funky characteristics as some of the best late 60s electric jazz sets on Liberty Records in the US – on titles that include "Capricorn", "Something", "On A Sunny Day", "Some Other Night", and "Peaceful Planet". LP, Vinyl record album
(Part of the "Universounds Presents – Deep Jazz Reality" series!)
A great session that was recorded in Tokyo in 1973 – featuring Abbey backed by a small group that includes Dave Liebman on sax and flute, Al Foster on drums, and HiromasaSuzuki on piano. The record's pretty darn hip – and it's a nice version of Abbey's haunting approach to vocal jazz, touched by some of the new directions vocalists were going at the time, yet firmly rooted in the firm command of voice and emotion heard on Lincoln's best records from the early 60s. Titles include "Africa", "You & Me & Love", "Naturally", "Living Room", and "Natas", which seems to have Abbey singing along with overdubs of her own voice, to very cool effect! 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 HiromasaSuzuki, "Up Into The Sky" by Fumio Itabashi, "Babylonia Wind" by Kiyoshi Sugimoto, and "For My Little Bird" by Shigeru Mukai. CD