Part 2 of BBE's landmark J-jazz series, compiling artists and composers whose names are generally only known to committed collectors of Japanese jazz. This triple vinyl set documents the vibrant soundtrack of Japan’s jazz cafe culture, an elusive network of enclaves tucked away in urban sidestreets with little in the way of signage or advertising of any kind. During World War II, Jazz music was banned by the wartime authorities of Japan, and during the allied forces’ subsequent occupation, jazz was reinserted into Japanese culture just as it was on the cusp of the bebop explosion, playing a major role in Japan’s cultural reconstruction. This compilation collects the finest examples of Japan’s unique interpretation of the music between 1969 and 1984, highlighting the progression from an early copycat style to a thriving period of progressive innovation and experimentation. None of these recordings have ever been released outside of Japan until now, and were previously only available on the original private press LPs which could easily amount to several thousand dollars spent for just a handful of these tracks. J-Jazz aficionados Tony Higgins and Mike Peden illustrate Japan’s calculated mastery of any flavor of jazz you could imagine; check out the lush, latin-infused 12+ minute "Dragon Dance" by Makoto Terashita Meets Harold Land which opens the set, Kosuke Mine Quintet's liberated "Daguri," George Kawaguchi The Big 4’s effortlessly funky "Vietnam,” the Herbie-influenced fusion of Electro Keyboard Orchestra’s “Mother Of The Future,” or Teru Sakamoto Trio's hard rolling "Teru-Teru Bozu (Black Keys)." 14 tracks altogether, pressed on six sides of vinyl and housed in a dazzling gatefold with extensive liner notes, artist photos and original album art compiled by Higgins and Peden. Highly recommended.
- black triple vinyl pressing
- housed in deluxe gatefold sleeve w/ extensive liner notes
- includes full color printed insert + obi strip
- music label: BBE 2018
reviewed by sunrise mart 03/2018