Reissue. The latest remastering. Features the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD2 format. Bonus tracks. Monk was a perfectionist not always well-understood by the public or even the musicians of his day. All his other recordings involve other musicians with whom he must interact with varying results. This sometimes makes it difficult to hear Monk as himself rather than as an ensemble player. But this recording gives us a great window into Monk's musical soul unencumbered with any exogenous distractions. One gets the feeling that Monk is playing for himself with no one else in the room. Production values are nil: just Monk and a piano in a bare studio. It is a privelege to be able to eavesdrop on his private explorations of themes of, presumably, his own choosing. Having bonus tracks with 'duplicate' songs is a genuine positive; it allows you to hear Monk's differing approaches to the same material.
Three Blind Mice Blu-spec CD reissue series! Limited paper sleeve edition! Kunihiko Sugano is a unique jazz pianist who is known for his huge talent, a pianistic approach reminiscent of Erroll Garner, and a sensitive nature that made it difficult for him to play in front of a large audience. Considering the latter issue, the live performances contained in this CD, recorded at a big hall in Tokyo for a jazz festival produced by the Three Blind Mice label, was a huge success. It is mesmerizing to hear Sugano's probing and exploratory introductions, relentless swing once he gets going, and palpable joy of making music on the spot. The trio, augmented with conga player Yoichi Ogawa, does a great job as well.
Three Blind Mice Blu-spec CD reissue series! Limited paper sleeve edition! Pianist Imada Masaru was 42 years old when he recorded this album in 1975. His adventurous spirit led him to use the electric piano for the first time in a recording, and thanks to his musicianship, he made it sound like he'd been playing the instrument for years. The program opens with the title track, a sophisticated urban funk. Guitarist Kazumi Watanabe plays a big role here. It is followed by a more intricate, fusion-like "Straight Flash."
Three Blind Mice Blu-spec CD reissue series! Limited paper sleeve edition! Now's The Time captured two groups who performed at the Three Blind Mice's own jazz festival called "5 Days in Jazz 1974." The first group was the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio with guest soloists Isao Suzuki on cello and Sunao Wada on guitar. They performed two songs on Side A of the original vinyl LP.
Japanese drummer George Otsuka is always one hell of a hip cat – one of those players whose name on a record always means that we'll pick it up – and never fail to hear something wonderful! And while Otsuka first got his start working with a piano trio at the end of the 60s, this sweet set from the mid 70s really has him stretching out nicely – working with a freewheeling group that has plenty of spiritual elements – but in that gentler avant mode you'd find in the Japanese scene of the time. The set's got some especially great Fender Rhodes and piano from Fumio Karashima, plus tenor and soprano sax from Shozo Sasaki – and all tracks are nice and long, and really let the instrumentation build up in this flowing, organic sort of way. Mitsuaki Furuno plays bass, and Norio Ohno adds in a bit of extra percussion too – and titles include a nice reading of "Naima", with lots of fast-moving congas – plus "Physical Structure", "Mustard Pot", and "Little Island".
Tonton Macoute was a progressive jazz/rock band formed in the UK in 1971 from the remaining 4 musicians of Windmill after the death of lead singer/guitarist Dick Scott in a road accident whilst on tour. Both bands were managed by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikely (Matthews Southern Comfort/The Herd/and Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch). The personnel consisted of Paul French-vox and keys, Dave Knowles- vox, sax and flute, Chris Gavin (Gavin Wilkinson)-guitar and bass, and Nigel Reveler-drums and percussion, Paul went on to form Voyager who charted in 1979 with a song entitled Halfway Hotel. They released 3 albums too, before disbanding in 1982. They have recently reformed to release the album Eyecontact…
The sixth album released by Three Blind Mice turned the spotlight on Hideto Kanai a veteran bassist who had been pursuing a very progressive, unique and uncompromising kind of jazz since the early 1960s. With his passion for educating young musicians and adventurous nature, Kanai has drawn some comparisons to another great leader, Charles Mingus, whom he respected.