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Big in Japan, Part 3: Satoko Fujii’s Year of Living Dangerously

Read "Big in Japan, Part 3: Satoko Fujii’s Year of Living Dangerously" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the first two parts of this series we looked at the origins of jazz in Japan and its adherence to the American style of composing, arranging and playing. Though jazz has been popular in Japan from the earliest days, it was--as in the United States--hardly met with unanimous approval in a country that prized classical ...

Jazz From Around the World: Asia

Read "Jazz From Around the World: Asia" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Asia is the most culturally and ethnically diverse continent. It is, therefore, hard to distill all its jazz influenced musical legacies into 10 albums. Some countries have robust jazz scenes that, nevertheless, are fundamentally derivative of European and American styles. In other musical cultures jazz has just recently made inroads. Below are 10 historic records that ...


The Death of Hideo Shiraki

The Death of Hideo Shiraki

Last week, I posted on Japanese drummer Hideo Shiraki, who died in 1972 at age 39. In 1962, Shiraki recorded two terrific albums, most notably Plays Horace Silver and Plays Bossa Nova. His other jazz albums are equally fabulous. Yet little is known about Shiraki in the States, since most information about him and his early ...


Hideo Shiraki Plays Silver

Hideo Shiraki Plays Silver

Hideo Shiraki was a Japanese drummer who led a hard-bop quintet in Tokyo in the late 1950s and 1960s. Given Blue Note's strong distribution in Japan, Shiraki's group was widely popular there but not very well known here. In Sept. 1962, Shiraki recorded Hideo Shiraki Plays Horace Silver. The band, billed as the Hideo Quintet Plus ...