Live! (Blu-Spec CD/Mini-LP Sleeve)

Live! (Blu-Spec CD/Mini-LP Sleeve)

BY Hino, Terumasa Quintet

(Customer Reviews)
$29.00
$ 17.40
SKU: THCD-260
Label:
Think/Three Blind Mice
Category:
Jazz
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The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".

The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.

Terumasa Hino is the legendary Japanese trumpeter who has given us countless amazing sessions since the late 60s.  His work in the 70s channeled the spirit of electric Miles Davis.  This live album from 1973 isn’t plugged in but its searing with white hot energy.  The album consists of three long tracks – the ubiquitous “Stella By Starlight” and two Hino compositions – “Sweet Lullaby” and the 28 minute marathon of “Be And Know”.  The quintet is incredible – Hino has his brother Motohiko on drums, Yoshio Ikeda on bass, the amazing Mikio Masuda on piano, and Yuji Imamura (of Air fame) on percussion.  Simply a sublime album.

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Rather than consolidating, Yes chose to innovate.Recorded during lengthy sessions at London’s Advision Studios, “Close to the Edge” is that rarity in recorded music, the sound of a band & its individual members writing, playing and recording at the peak of their collective abilities. The album was issued in Autumn 1972 reaching chart highs & platinum sales status of  4 in the UK, 3 in the USA & 1 in Holland, though such statistics only hint at the worldwide popularity of the album over a period of more than four decades. The three pieces of music, the title track which spanned the entire first side of the vinyl album with ‘And You And I’ & ‘Siberian Khatru’ on side two, have remained concert favourites since release, with the 2013 Yes line-up currently in the middle of a world tour stretching into the middle of next year that sees the album performed in its entirety.The album remains the favourite among many of the band’s legion of fans, a defining recording both for the band & for the progressive rock movement. It is also one of the most successful British rock albums ever released.Since this release of “Close to the Edge” was confirmed, the various websites dedicated to Yes, Progressive rock & high-resolution audio have been very active with discussions among fans keen to hear the new mixes & the existing material in its purest audio presentation. 
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  • Remastered edition with new liner notes and photos. There isn't any on the planet that knows more about Soft Machine than Steve Feigenbaum. He's very old. When he was 37 years old he went to the Fillmore East to see the band play with Hendrix. It changed his life and he's dressed funny ever since. Perhaps he would dress funny anyway, I don't know for sure. I do know that he loves Soft Machine's fourth album more than he loves sex (or so his wife has told me). Here is what he has to say abou this classic disc: "For some reason, I think Four has always been the overlooked Soft Machine album. There's probably several reasons for this but that doesn't change the fact that I think that this is tied with Volume Two as their greatest album ever! The tunes were getting more and more complex and astonishing: Mike Ratledge contributed what I consider the band's greatest work ever in the 10 minute long Teeth, while Hugh Hopper was also reaching a peak compositionally. Elton Dean showed the direction that he wanted to go with his free-but-charming contributions and while Robert Wyatt didn't contribute any tunes (or even any vocals - probably one of the reasons that this album is overlooked), his playing, like all the others, was exemplary here. In addition to the great tunes and the great playing from the four members, a number of additional musicians (Marc Charig, Roy Babbington, Alan Skidmore, Nick Evans) appear as guests, adding some great ensemble color. Lastly, but also very importantly, this was always a really good sounding album and it sounds great here too in this remastered version. Utterly essential, important and innovative jazz/rock from when there were no rules to this sound which was being newly invented while they made it!!"
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