Sonnet (Blu-Spec CD/Mini-LP Sleeve)
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. More will follow in the near future.
This is the second part of a trilogy of albums coordinated by label founder Tee Fuji. Its a bit of an all-star jam with members of the TBM roster. The album consists of two side long groove laden tracks that give everyone a chance to blow. Particularly notable is guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi.
""The "Tee" here is Takashi Fujii – who doesn't play on the record, but instead arranged with the group – and produced the record with the really deep, complex sound we've come to love on 70s releases from the Three Blind Mice label! The group has a relatively spiritual approach right from the start – almost free, but more soulfully directed overall, and definitely with the sense of poetry you'd expect from the title! Takao Uematso serves up some great tenor sax, and Kenji Mori plays both soprano and tenor – in a group that also features Masaru Imada on electric and acoustic piano, Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, and Hiroshi Murakomi on drums. Both tracks are long – and titles include "Combo 77" and "Sonnet"."