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Friday, Jan 12 2018 | 02:38
Image: 1616972 BBE present J-Jazz – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984. This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the post- war modern jazz scene in Japan.


01. Koichi Matsukaze Trio - Earth Mother
02. Tohru Aizawa Quartet - Dead Letter
03. Eiji Nakayama - Aya’s Samba
04. Takao Uematsu - White Fire
05. Shintaro Quintet - A Blind Man
06. Mitsuaki Katayama - Unknown Point
07. Takeo Moriyama - Kaze
08. Fumio Karashima - Little Island
09. Kiyoshi Sugimoto - Long Neal

In the years following the World War Two, Japan
developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and
diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little
over a decade - from the late 1960s to the early
1980s - Japanese jazz culture progressed at an
astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of
artists, recordings and record labels that created
some of the most forward thinking and impressive
jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey
is explored on ‘J Jazz’.
This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the
most sought after and rare material from this period
and pulls together key artists who shaped the postwar modern jazz scene in Japan.
‘J Jazz' includes obscure and sought after rarities
like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s
‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru
Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of
Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’. This collection takes
the listener into deep spiritual jazz, post-modal
impressionism and fierce dance-floor fusion with
material from artists and composers whose names
are generally only known to committed collectors of
Japanese jazz. Fumio Karashima, Mitsuaki Katayama,
Takeo Moriyama and Kiyoshi Sugimoto are among
the names featured on an album aiming to shed a
little light on the shadowy world of Japanese jazz
clubs, tucked away in the neon backstreets. This
music demands a wider audience and BBE are
excited to deliver a landmark compilation, lifting the
veil on this wonderful and mysterious area of the
global jazz catalogue.
None of the tracks featured on ‘J Jazz’ have ever
received an official release outside Japan before. The
albums the tracks are taken from are extremely hard
to find and often fetch huge sums on the collector’s
circuit. Originally pressed in small numbers on
independent and private labels such as Union,
Johnny’s Disk, Whynot, ALM and VAP, these tracks
are now available for everyone to enjoy.
Compiled by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, both
long-time collectors of Japanese jazz, ’J Jazz’ brings
together the very best in modern jazz from Japan,
recorded during a critical period of musical and
cultural transition that saw composers and musicians
not only assert a new artistic identity but also create
a lasting musical legacy.
For Fans Of: Gilles Peterson, Wax Poetics, Cinematic
Orchestra Available from 23.02.2018
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