Tohru Aizawa Quartet - 相澤徹 : Tachibana (2LP/with Obi/reissue)

Tohru Aizawa Quartet - 相澤徹 : Tachibana (2LP/with Obi/reissue)

label/BBE (BBE469ALP)


UKの名門レーベル"BBE"から2018年1月にリリースされたコンピレーション「J Jazz Deep Modern Jazz From Japan (1969-1984)」やUKきっての良質レーベルJazzmanから2018年3月にリリースされた人気コンピレーション「SPIRITUAL JAZZ 8 - JAPAN」にも本作から収録され、発売から40年以上経過した現在でも世界中のジャズ・ファン、音楽好きから熱い視線が注がれる1作。

目を惹くジャケットは本作の出資者であり、熱烈なジャズ・ファンでもあった橘郁二郎(たちばな いくじろう)の家紋。相澤徹カルテットの演奏を聴いた橘がレコード制作を勧め出資までしたというので、この奇跡的な出逢いが無ければ聴かれることは無かったのかもしれないと考えると感慨深いものがあります。しかも販売用ではなく名刺代わりにレコードを作ったということなので、オリジナルの自主制作盤は一体何枚現存するのか・・・間違いなく本年度和ジャズ復刻のトップクラス・トピックをお見逃しなく!!

A1. Philosopher's Stone
B1. Sacrament
C1. La Fiesta
D1. Dead Letter
D2. Samba De Orfeu

How a Japanese medical student and local businessman made one of the most coveted records of all time

Used as a business card by the man who funded the recording in his basement and after whom the album is named, Tohru Aizawa Quartet’s Tachibana is one of the rarest Japanese jazz records of all time. Featured on BBE’s new J-Jazz compilation, Tony Higgins tells the bizarre story behind this real-life holy grail.

On 30th March 1975, four young college students gathered in the presence of a wealthy local businessman, Ikujiroh Tachibana, in the town of Numata, Gunma Prefecture, about 90 miles north of Tokyo. The four amateur musicians were there to record their first and only album, an album that would remain forgotten for the next forty years. After labouring in obscurity for decades, the record has become one of the most revered and sought after artefacts in the esoteric world of Japanese modern jazz, emblematic of the fanatical culture and desire for perfection that pervades it.

It is a world that has been given a fresh take on new BBE compilation J-Jazz: Deep modern jazz from Japan 1969-1984, which features Tohru Aizawa Quarter’s track ‘Dead Letter’ from Tachibana. This album has all the necessary components of such cultish impulse: mysterious and vague details about its origin, brief existence, superb craftsmanship and skill, and scarcity of the object…

But what is the story of this album, why is it so special, and how has it become a central totem in the wallet-bashing world of Japanese jazz collectors?

Let’s go back to March 1975 and the grand house of Ikujiroh Tachibana in Numata, Japan. Tachibana was a successful businessman and member of a prestigious family who could trace its lineage back to seventh century Japan. The Tachibana clan were, for several centuries, a powerful aristocratic family with close links to the imperial court, and the clan emblem or mon 紋 is used on the cover to the album.

Not only was Tachibana a respected and well-known local figure, he was also a big jazz fan. He would frequent local jazz clubs and bars and sometimes travel to nearby towns such as Maebashi and Isezaki – as well as Tokyo – to catch visiting American artists like trumpeter Charles Tolliver and pianist Mal Waldron, alongside home grown talent. One such band was the Tohru Aizawa Quartet, a group started in 1969 by two brothers, Kyochiro and Tetsuya Morimura.

Kychiro was a saxophonist and music student who later became a teacher, and Tetsuya was a drummer and law student. A few years younger than pianist Tohru Aizawa, they joined forces after hearing Aizawa perform at a music festival held in the medical school in Maebashi. (Aizawa, born in 1950, had moved there from Tokyo to study medicine. He would eventually graduate top of his class). Suitably impressed by Aizawa’s skills on the keys, the Morimura bothers decided to form a group and were joined by bass player Konzoh Watanabe, a fellow law student of Tetsuya Morimura.

They began gigging at local jazz spots, gaining something of a residency at Mokuba, a jazz spot in Maebashi owned by Kohichi Negishi. It was here that the group built a small but loyal following, among them local businessman and jazz fanatic, Ikujiroh Tachibana. He suggested that they make a record and he would finance it. Moreover, he would use the finished LP as a business card to promote himself and the band.

Quite what the recipients made of this was not recorded, but a few quizzical looks were no doubt shared. According to Aizawa maybe as few as 150-200 copies were manufactured, although nobody really knows, and it’s probably safe to assume several copies were discarded straight after being received. Unsurprisingly, using an LP as a business card didn’t catch on.

In the original album sleeve notes, reference is made to a handwritten note from Aizawa explaining the motivation for the group:

“We just created music we wanted to create. We are aware that music takes a different shape dependent on the ear of the listener. There are people who can appreciate it and others for whom it’s just noise – just a load of notes clumped together. We know it’s not to everyone’s taste but decided to push on and create for it for ourselves.”

The album opens with ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ written by drummer Tetsuya Morimura. For a teenage amateur player to compose and perform such an accomplished and impressive piece is a testament to the talent that the band contained. Testuya’s saxophonist brother Kiyoshiro describes the recording and the influences that went into the session:

“We thought it would be a nice memento so we went to Mr. Tachibana’s hall to record the album. It was recorded by someone from Trio Kenwood Records. At this hall, there was a Steinway full concert grand piano, and Mr. Tachibana invited famous musicians such as Zoot Sims, Eiji Kitamura and others to do concerts there. It was not a recording studio so they had difficulty getting the balance right. Just like any other live show that we regularly did, we had fun doing it. I don’t remember doing re-takes, so I think it was mostly done in one take. It was not commercially sold. I think it was given out by Mr. Tachibana in place of a business card. I listened to a lot of John Coltrane, Sadao Watanabe, Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter. My brother, Tetsuya, listened to a lot of Tony Williams and Elvin Jones.”

‘Philosopher’s Stone’ is followed by ‘Sacrament’, an epic modal composition by saxophonist Kiyochiro Morimura that fans of Pharaoh Sanders and late-era John Coltrane will appreciate. After an extended intro the band drop into a heavy, churning groove, Morimura’s saxophone scorching above the volcanic rhythm section. Aizawa’s own composition ‘Dead Letter’ is featured on the J-Jazz compilation. He says the track “just came out naturally, a spiritual outflow of myself.”

Although he has many other compositions to his name, this is the only one ever recorded. Thus far, all but ‘Dead Letter’ remain unheard outside of the lucky few who saw the band perform 40 years agoas. ‘Dead Letter’ is a performance of great bravura, a propulsive attack of rhythmic power and textural depth, redolent of McCoy Tyner at his most impactful. Aizawa’s own influences range from Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk and Chick Corea (Corea’s ‘La Fiesta’ is one of the two covers on the album) to Japanese jazz piano master, the late Masabumi Kikuchi.

The album finishes with a furious burn through the classic ‘Samba de Orfeu’, at such a speed it’s astonishing the band hold it together. An example of nascent talent, it’s hard not to ponder on the potential in a band that left just a single physical manifestation of their work.

The artwork on the album was designed by Kohichi Negishi, owner of the Mokuba jazz spot in Maebashi where the band often played. A portrait of the band’s sponsor, the avuncular Tachibana himself, leaning with drink in hand, graces the inside of the gatefold sleeve. It is accompanied by a typically polite ‘thank you’ and a greeting in which he remarks at “how polished the record is for a band that rehearsed and played in between their studies”. He goes on to say that “they get better each time he hears them and is always moved by their performances”. Tantalisingly, he also states he “wants to create more records and find hidden gems” but no more recordings of the Tohru Aizawa Quartet were ever made. By the time the record was issued as Tachibana’s business card, Aizawa and the elder Morimura were hard at work with no time to devote to their music.

In the case of Tohru Aizawa himself, he went on to work as a doctor at his family hospital in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, where he continues to work today specialising in diabetes. He still plays piano occasionally but never again recorded. The other members did continue in music to some degree, albeit for only a few more years. Kyoishiroh Morimura played with the groups Sing Out and the Kenji Yoshida Quintet; sibling Testuya released a solo live recording album called Akai Tori Concert (Red Bird Concert) which featured Japanese jazz icon Sadao Watanabe as a guest. But none of their projects ever matched the intensity or mystery of Tachibana.

To Mr. Tachibana and the Tohru Aizawa Quartet, arigatou gozaimasu.
Record - Jazz | comments(0) | -

V.A. : Ed Motta Presents Too Slow To Disco Brasil

V.A. : Ed Motta Presents Too Slow To Disco Brasil

シティーポップ、AORサウンドを通過したディスコ・サウンドを新定義するドイツのHOW DO YOU AREが提唱する『TOO SLOW TO DISCO』シリーズ最新作!!
今回はブラジル音源を世界的コレクターでもありアーティストとしても活躍するEd Motta/エヂ・モッタをコンパイラー に招き良質な知られざるブラジリアン・ソウル、ファンク、AORサウンドを満載した話題作!


Side A:
1) Filó Machado - Quero Pouco, Quero Muito
2) Sandra De Sá - Guarde Minha Voz
3) Altay Veloso - Débora
4) Junior Mendes - Copacabana Sadia

Side B:
5) Don Beto - Renascendo Em Mim
6) Lucia Turnbull - Toda Manhã Brilha O Sol
7) Guilherme Arantes - Coisas do Brasil (Ao Vivo)
8) Carlos Bivar - Maré
9) Biafra - Leão Ferido

Side C:
10) Santa Cruz - Mais Uma Chance
11) Jane Duboc - Se Eu Te Pego De Jeito
12) Cassiano - Rio Best-Seller
13) Carlinhos e Soninha Queiroz - Pra Você
14) Gelson Oliveira - Acordes e Sementes

Side D:
15) Zeca Do Trombone – Rota-Mar
16) Roupa Nova - Clearer
17) Kiko Zambianchi - Estréia
18) Brylho - Jóia Rara
19) Rita Lee - Atlantida
Record - Funk / Soul | comments(0) | -

DJ KIYO : NEO COMFORT 7 - sunset cruise - (MIX-CD)

DJ KIYO : NEO COMFORT 7 - sunset cruise - (MIX-CD)

DJ KIYO : NEO COMFORT 7 - sunset cruise - (MIX-CD) ¥1620




label/Royalty Production (RYTMC-038)


2012年からスタートし、年1回のペースでリリースされてきたDJ KIYOの裏18番ともいえる風物詩的ミックス「NEO COMFORT」シリーズ第7弾が登場です!!



今回は「サンセット」をテーマにこれまでのシリーズの流れを汲んだ浮遊感溢れるMELLOWグルーヴ を近年のリリース物から厳選セレクト。オルタナティブな歌物からHIP HOP、そしてJAZZまで耳あたり の心地良いマッタリとした柔らかめの空気感で統一された極上の60分です!


夏の夕暮れ時のドライブにはもちろんリビングのBGMなど、このシリーズならではのメロディアスな ネオセレクションを是非ゆっくりお楽しみください!


初回のみのプレスですので超少量枚数のみとなります!! お早めに是非!


[ 収録アーティスト]


Anderson .Paak

Arin Ray


Chris Dave And The Drumhedz


Erykah Badu

Frank Ocean

Ivan Ave

Jamila Woods


Lojii & Swarvy




Patrick Paige II




Terrace Martin


[total 63min.]

MIX CD - R&B / NU-SOUL | comments(0) | -

一十三十一 - Hitomitoi : SIXTEEN REASONS / アクアマリンのままでいて (7")

一十三十一 - Hitomitoi : SIXTEEN REASONS / アクアマリンのままでいて (7") ¥1620

一十三十一がGrand Galleryのコンピレーションに参加した楽曲を7インチ化!!

SIDE Aは甘いREGGAEを収録したアルバム「OLDIES BUT GOODIES」より、 TVドラマ「ハワイア ン・アイ」に収録の、コニー・スティーヴンスの永遠の名曲、「SIXTEEN REASONS 」をMELLOW REGGAEでカバー。間奏のicchieによるトランペットもリゾート感を誘う。

SIDE Bはシティ・ポップスのカバー・アルバム「TWILIGHT TIME」より、 カルロス・トシキ&オメガトライブの名曲、「アクアマリンのままでいて」をカバー。
こちらはHMV限定で2014年に7インチ化されたが、即完売した幻のアイテム。 今回待望の再プレス!!


SIDE B: アクアマリンのままでいて
Record - Japanese / Soul / Funk / Pops | comments(0) | -

V.A. (Joey Negro) : Backstreet Brit Funk Vol.2 Part One (2LP)

V.A. (Joey Negro) : Backstreet Brit Funk Vol.2 Part One (2LP)

Z Records/ZEDDLP044/UK

台頭するディスコ・シーンへのJoey Negro、そしてUKからの回答といえる最高の一枚!
Z Recordsが誇る 究極のモダンブギー、エレガント・ファンク・コンピレーション、超待望の第二弾の登場!

ブリブリのベースラインにホーンセクションをフィーチャーしたソリッド・ファンクA-1、アーバンなサウンド、 洗練された歌声が織り成すスムース・チューンA-2、ラテンの香り漂う最高のトロピカル・ブギーB-2、軽 快なグルーヴにジャジ-なサウンドが心地よいアーバン・ダンサーC-1、パーカッションをフィーチャーし たダビーなトラックにシンセ、キーボードが最高に心地よいミディアム・ファンクC-2、跳ねたベースにアー バンサウンド、洗練された歌声が織り成す最高のモダンソウルD1などバラエティ豊かに抜群のセンスで コンパイルされた珠玉の音源が一挙勢揃い!


-Track List-
A1 Rick Clarke – Potion
A2 Savanna - I Can’t Turn Away
B1 Proton – We’re Funkin’
B2 The Oceans - Pacific Dream
B3 Kandidate - Girls Girls Girls
C1 The Paul Bailey Sound - Take A Walk In The Moonlight
C2 Janet Kay - Eternally Grateful (Unreleased Mix)
D1 Veira Krew - Sexy Lady
D2 Rare Moods - Closer To Your Love
D3 Powerline - Watching You


Record (LP/EP/12'/7') | comments(0) | -