At The Babel ... CD Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985. New Copy ...
Two beautiful long tracks from Japanese pianist ShojiAketagawa – recording here with just he bass of Hiroshi Yoshino for accompaniment – in a style that mixes some of the deeper tones of Shoji's straighter records with an approach that's maybe looser and more improvised overall! Parts of the album almost feel as if Cecil Taylor were trying to step into Erroll Garner territory – hitting moody ballads, but breaking out with freer moments on the keys – while others are maybe a bit warmer, and have some of that unusual full piano resonance that always makes these Aketa's Disk recordings by Aketagawa sound so different than most other Japanese piano recordings of the period. The set features two long tracks, both nice and open! CD
An indie piano jazz treasure from the Japanese scene of the 70s – originally issued on the Aketa's Disk record, and with a sound that's a bit different than some of the bigger-label piano trio albums of the time! There's a real edge here – a harder sound on Aketagawa's keys than some of his contemporaries, even though things are relatively straight and swinging – as if Shoji knows the farther reaches of the avant spectrum, and manages to fold them into long, open groovers with the help of a trio that features Koichi Yamazaki on bass and Takashi Miyasaka on drums! Shoji also vocalizes a bit behind his piano – not singing, but kind of the energetic sounds that you'd hear from better-known pianists, like Erroll Garner or Keith Jarrett – in a similar tradition of enthusiasm along with their work on the keys. Titles include "Aketa's Blues", "Fly Me To The Moon", "There Is No Greater Love", and "Obachama Ote O Douzo". CD
A rare treasure from the Aketa's Disk label – one of the hipper Japanese jazz imprints of the 70s, and a great showcase here for the mighty piano talents of ShojiAketagawa! There's something very unusual about the piano that Shoji is playing here – as it's got a tonal quality that almost feels like an old upright, but a wider scope of sound that you'd here from a grand piano – a very resonant vibe that seems to encompass many different strands of jazz at once, both older and modern, with a flair that maybe evokes the similar spirit of Jaki Byard – but which, in Aketagawa's hands, comes across with very personal results. CD
A slightly different album than usual from pianist ShojiAketagawa, but one that still follows strongly in the best tradition of his offbeat gems for the Aketa's Disk label! This set has Shoji co-credited on piano and vocals – the latter of which aren't really sung lyrics, but maybe more sub-verbal expressions done alongside his bold work on the piano – almost an expansion of the kind of grunts you'd hear on older recordings by Erroll Garner, but taken into an even more pronounced position – so that they're often strong enough to become part of the melodic makeup of the tune! The group also features bass from Koichi Yamazaki, and drums from Takashi Miyasaka and Kenichi Kameyama – on titles that include "African Dream", "Footprints", "Yamazaki Blues", "Kameyama Blues", and "Dear Old Stockholm". CD
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Iinkai Seikatsu Koujou —
Live In Masuda ... CD Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Three long tracks from a great Japanese group – one who recorded famously with William Parker a few years before, but who maybe sound even more amazing here on their own – in a live session that's filled with free-flowing spiritual energy! The lineup features Koichi Matsukaze on alto – a player who can blow both straight and free – alongside ShojiAketagawa on piano, Koichi Yamazaki on bass, and Takashi Miyasaka on drums. The set begins with a long-spun take on "Impressions" that's really wonderful, then slides into a very avant take on "I Love You", before hitting a nice mix of edgey, soulful modes on "Imba". CD