“Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan pt. 1 & pt. 2”, Various Artists [Jazzman Records, 2018]
Every morning on Worldwide FM, we play a track from our album of the week. This week we’re celebrating the newest two-part compilation from Jazzman Records, compiled in collaboration with collector and DJ, Yusuke Ogawa (Deep Jazz Reality, Tokyo).
For nearly a decade, Jazzman Records has been releasing spiritual jazz compilations. Now, in its 8th iteration, the series heads to Japan to explore the country’s intense relationship with esoteric and progressive jazz in the 20th Century.
As well as including the work of international artists such as composer/pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi and trumpeter Teramasu Hino, this double album spotlights Japanese jazz musicians who enjoyed less international recognition. Tohru Aizawa Quartet, for example, feature on the compilation with a track from their album Tachibana – one the rarest jazz albums of all time.
Given the current resurgence in jazz, particularly in the UK and America’s West Coast, it feels like this album has landed at an important time. By uncovering a scene previously well known only among specialist audiences, it contextualizes the contemporary jazz movement, and opens up a history of incredible music.
Mitsuaki Kanno – Kumo No Ito
Tadao Hayashi – My Favorite Things
Minoru Muraoka – Positive and Negative
Takeo Moriyama – East Plants
Koichi Matsukaze – Under Construction
Sadao Watanebe & Charlie Mariano – Ragam Sinthubairavi
New Direction for the Arts – Sun in the East
Four Units – Scarborough Fair
Tohru Aizawa – Sacrament
Keitaro Miho – Kikazaru
Tee & Company – Spanish Flower
Takeo Moriyama – Watarase
Kiyoshi Sugimoto – Babylonia Wind
Toshiko Akiyoshi – Kisarazu Zinku
Yoshio Ikeda – Whispering Weeds