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Watarase Vinyl LP

Mule MusiqSKU fr-3970

piano virtuoso at peak spirituality
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  • Lab Overview
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Lab Overview

The criminally underrated second solo album by piano virtuoso Fumio Itabashi was originally released in 1982 and for years was relatively unknown outside of his home country of Japan. That is, until British DJ Gilles Peterson pointed out that Watarase may be the best jazz record to come out of the country. Gilles is always on point with his recs and this album does not dissapoint. Bridging that fine line between post-bop / spiritual and contemporary, Itabashi's piano notes are given a life of their own, enough room to let the his fingers fly from light melodic sweeps to passages of goose-bump inducing trills. Using the entirety of the piano's range to his advantage, the compositions on the album are epics, ranging from interpretations of familiar standards and covers including "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Msunduza" and "I Can't Get Started" to Itabashi's originals, including the serene title track "Watarase". While his playing occasionally reaches into that esoteric / free territory, the tracks remain compelling and focused enough for even those who are casual jazz listeners to give the album repeated listens. Some of the running piano lines remind one of the monster post-bop album The Awakening by the Ahmad Jamal Trio, released more than 10 years prior. Remastered from the original 1981 recordings and limited to 1000 copies, this record is not to be missed. 7 Tracks in all, reissued by Mule Musiq. Recommended.

  • remastered from original 1981 recordings
  • limited to 1000 copies
  • OBI strip
  • printed inner sleeve
  • Mule Musiq 2018
reviewed by RBG 12/2018



UPC: 04534384


Review & Q+A


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