Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

9

Various Artists: J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
There is a lovely anecdote in Charlie Laurie's introduction to The Blue Note Years: The Jazz Photography Of Francis Wolff (Rizzoli, 1995). Describing the first Blue Note Festival at the foot of Japan's Mount Fuji in 1986, Laurie wrote: "Where else but in Japan can one see a field packed with fifteen thousand teens and twentysomethings roar with excited recognition at the first four bars of Sonny Clark's 'Cool Struttin'?" Young Japanese musicians were as entranced by US jazz during the 1980s as were festival audiences, andJ Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969—1984 perfectly captures their febrile embrace of the music. Japan shared its enthusiasm with other countries—there were similar movements in Britain and across continental Europe during the 1980s, often linked to jazz as dance music—but the scale of the Japanese phenomenon was unique.

What gives the tracks on J Jazz value 30 or 40 years on is that they are not slavish knock-offs of US jazz. Local musicians took the US template, infused it with their own ideas and cultural traditions, and came up with something strikingly different. And in some cases, it has to be said, something best forgotten. But J Jazz avoids the clangers and is composed entirely of the good stuff. Compiled by British collectors Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, the album spans cosmic jazz, abstraction and on-fire dancefloor fusion by artists whose names are generally only known to niche listeners. A running thread through the tracks is the ramped-up drive of the drummers and the bassists (which compensates for the longueurs of soloists whose enthusiasm occasionally runs away with them).

The first pressing of a 3xLP edition, with three extra tracks, has already sold out but is scheduled for rerelease in June 2018. One of the vinyl-only tracks is a long-lost collaboration between US bassist Reggie Workman and a septet led by trumpeter Terumasa Hino.

This is, apparently, the first time any of the tracks featured on J Jazz have been officially released outside Japan. All good things come to those who wait.

Track Listing: Earth Mother; Dead Letter; Aya’s Samba; White Fire; A Blind Man; Unknown Point; Kaze; Little Island; Long Neal.

Personnel: Koichi Matsukaze Trio (track 1); Tohru Aizawa Quartet (track 2); Eiji Nakayama (track 3); Takao Uemasu (track 4); Shintaro Quintet (track 5); Misuaki Katayama (track 6); Takeo Moriyama (track 7); Fumio Karashima (track 8); Kiyoshi Sugimoto (track 9).

Title: J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984 | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Barely Breaking Even

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Sleepers Wake

Sleepers Wake

Various Artists
Snowfall

Winter Waltz

Winter Waltz

Various Artists
Winter: An Origin Records...

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read The Forest from Above CD/LP/Track Review
The Forest from Above
by John Eyles
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Imaginary Band CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Band
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Night CD/LP/Track Review
Night
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 13, 2018
Read An Ayler Xmas Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2018
Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read "Concentric Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Concentric Circles
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 11, 2018
Read "Hawthorne" CD/LP/Track Review Hawthorne
by Don Phipps
Published: August 23, 2018
Read "Golden Earrings" CD/LP/Track Review Golden Earrings
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 2, 2018
Read "Bay of Rainbows" CD/LP/Track Review Bay of Rainbows
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 5, 2018
Read "Walk The Walk" CD/LP/Track Review Walk The Walk
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 4, 2018
Read "Summerwind" CD/LP/Track Review Summerwind
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 16, 2018