Friday 15 September 2023

Back in 1984, there was probably little interest inside or outside of Japan for what was seen as a jazz-rock album even though the band leader was drummer, Tatsuya Nakamura.

Now, nearly 40 years on, Nakamura's album 'Locus' is latest in the Tony Higgins/Mike Peden curated J-Jazz Masterclass Series to be re-issued on BBE Music.

Originally only four tracks, 'Ballad' and the previously unreleased shorter version of 'Ballad' as a bonus is more reflective of the album artwork than the actual title track that over the 12 minutes wanders from synth/electronic intro to full on Miles fusion rock-off including obligatory drum solo.

At times, you might think this is any of the Miles fusion supergroups especially where Airto Moreira and Chick Corea are present which says much for the group joining Nakamura (drums, percussion); there's Shinobu Fujimoto (trumpet), Jun Fukamachi (keys), Hedeto Kanai (electric bass), Kazumasa Akiyama (electric guitar) with more percussion by Tatsuji Yokoyama and Yuji Sakai.

    'Wow' is more of a showcase for Fukamachi who, in addition to being a jazz-fusion composer, pianist/keyboards was a synthesizer pioneer and played with many of the US leaders in the 70s.

    And talking of the 70s, in '79, Nakamura's debut album 'Where Is The Quarter?' contained a 5 minute track called, '¼ Samba' (with a different line-up) so by the time of the recording of 'Locus' the operandi (you could say) had progressed to '¼ Samba II' which made an re-appearance as the near 12 minute version on the compilation 'J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan (Volume 3)' a couple of years ago.

    And if you do recall, it's monsterously mad sh*t jazz bonkers and needs to be any collection of anyone that loves jazz or J-jazz or even hates jazz; 'Ballard' is a well timed cool down after that!

    Many thanks to Messrs Higgins and Peden for their combined dedication to this series and bringing to the BBE fan club music that would normally be totally unobtainable to us mere mortals.

    My informants tell me that the J-Jazz team have a special announcement coming soon so consider me to be on the case and we'll bring it to you as soon as we can. In the meantime, 'Locus' awaits to thrill and entertain you.

    Artist: Tatsuya Nakamura 

    Title: Locus

    Release date: 15th September, 2023

    Label : BBE Music

    Catalog Number : BBE6 1XLP vinyl / Digital / Bandcamp .


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