“What I pursue and focus on when I always perform a piece is its beautiful melody…” After the inclusion of “Kaze” on their revelatory J Jazz comp earlier this year (Jazzman also snuck the title track onto Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan), BBE have deemed Takeo Moriyama’s East Plants worthy of a full blown reissue and we couldn’t agree more. Initially cutting his teeth in Tokyo’s flowering modern jazz scene, Moriyama quickly became one of the best known jazz drummers in Japan before shifting focus towards free jazz and post-bop experimentalism, working with the likes of Akira Sakata and Yosuke Yamashita. He took a few years off to teach in the late 70s before resurfacing with a refreshed sound indebted to the inherent spirituality of the eastern world, first with 1981’s Smile and East Plants in 1983. Side A starts with the tempered 10+ minute title track before launching into more upbeat / adventurous territory with “Take” and “Kagelou.” Spiritual core “Kaze” opens with some crystalline windchimes (‘kaze’ means ‘wind’) leading straight into a free-floating bass and drums groove that anchors the tune. “Fields” features the dueling tenors of Shuichi Enomoto and Toshihiko Inoue front and center, backed by some of Moriyama’s finest drumming of the session, and the side-long “Tooku” closes the album with more windchimes and the placid unison of Enomoto and Inoue’s soprano saxes. First ever reissue outside of Japan, first time on double vinyl, housed in gatefold jacket with obi strip, printed insert and extensive liner notes; recommended.
- black double vinyl pressing
- first time on vinyl since 1983
- never before available outside of Japan
- housed in gatefold jacket w/ obi strip
- detailed liner notes including essays by Takeo Moriyama + BBE’s Tony Higgins
- music label: BBE 2018
reviewed by sunrise mart 10/2018