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J Jazz
Deep Modern Jazz from Japan
Volume 3


Artist: Various
Label: BBE Music
Release Date: 26 February 2021

BBE Music presents the third volume in its J Jazz series which explores the finest modern jazz from Japan. Since the first volume in February 2018, the J Jazz compilation series has showcased some of the most creative, inspired, and sought-after jazz recorded in Japan during a golden period spanning the 1960s to the 1980s. Illustrating the richness and versatility of the composers and musicians on this collection, the music spans a wide yet coherent range of styles: samba, funk fusion, modal, spiritual, post-bop, and bossa...

There is a long standing observational gag that jazz is just a group of musicians performing together, but all playing their own tunes no matter what anyone else is doing. To some extent this is a criticism that can be levelled at this album. But those that love jazz will embrace this.

While I appreciate the chance to experience the jazz scene in Japan over several decades, I have to admit to not being a huge fan of this album. There are plenty of tracks which caught my attention, but in all honesty it's probably not an LP I'll play again in the future.

For those that like this kind of thing BBE Music has to be congratulated for really offering up plenty of diversity here. So if you're wondering what Japanese jazz sounds like (Spoiler Alert! It sounds just like jazz from anywhere in the world) then wonder no more.


01. Yasuhiro Kohno Trio + One – Song Of Island
02. Shigeharu Mukai – Cumulonimbus
03. Kohsuke Mine – Morning Tide
04. Hideyasu Terakawa Quartet Featuring Hiroshi Fujii – Black Nile
05. Aki Takase Trio – Song for Hope
06. Itakura Katsuyuki Trio – Honey Sanba
07. Ryusei Tomoyose Quartet – Kirisame
08. Masao Nakajima Quartet – Kemo Sabe
09. Hiroshi Murakami & Dancing Sphinx – Phoebus
10. Masaru Imada Trio + 1 – Planets
11. Tatsuya Nakamura – ¼ Samba II
12. Eiji Nakayama – Cumorah
13. Koichi Matsukaze Trio feat Ryojiro Furusawa – Acoustic Chicken

CD-only Bonus Tracks:

01. Hideo Shiraki – Groovy Samba
02. Ryojiro Furusawa – Burning Cloud
03. Seiichi Nakamura – Wolf’s Theme


Nick Smithson

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