Based on a celebrated book by Kuniko Mukoda, this film directed by Yasuo Furuhata tells of a close friendship undone by love. The title of the film, A Un, is a Japanese expression meaning an utter understanding between friends and lovers, and old army pals Kadokura (played by Japanese film icon Ken Takakura) and Miyata (Eiji Bando) certainly fit the bill. Kadokura is the owner of a small business where Miyata works. Kadokura is also in love – though quite platonically – with Miyata's wife Tami (Sumiko Fuji).
One of the most soulful sessions we've ever heard from Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – a brilliant quintet outing that features some really great work on tenor and soprano sax! Kikuchi's piano is usually enough to grab our attention, but the album's got a great added bonus in the presence of Kosuke Mine on soprano sax and Hideo Miyata on tenor – both players whose horns bring in some added sharpness to the date, and further underscore the spiritual elements in Kikuchi's music – almost with the same mix of reeds and driving rhythms you'd find in the post-Coltrane work of Elvin Jones. Titles include "Green Dance", "Bell", "Admire But Destest", "Gin Kai", and "Drizzling Rain".
Reissue with DSD remastering. A real lost treasure from trumpeter Terumasa Hino – a warm and wonderful live set, and one that's neither too free, nor too smooth – just perfectly set up right down the middle to open up on these beautiful long performances! The lineup is all Japanese – a great array of players that includes Shigeharu Mukai on trombone, Hideo Miyata on tenor, Sadao Watanabe on alto sax, Motohiko Hino on drums, and Fumio Itabashi on Fender Rhodes – part of a slightly larger ensemble who can be tight at times, but still allow plenty of room for open freedom on the solos. Hino's only part of the picture, as the other soloists get in some great space too – and the set includes the 23 minute groover "Logical Mystery", the long soulful original "In The Darkness", and a sweet mellow take on "Round Midnight".
During the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) a broad diffusion of Western music flowed into Japan, first in the form of military band music and. later, Protestant hymns. By 1900, recitals of piano, violin and song were quite popular. Composers like Prokofiev, and performers such as Heifetz, Kreisler and Segovia also encouraged this musical direction, which strongly followed German Romanticism and French Impressionism. The new Western repertoire found a place with the traditional Japanese music, hdgaku, and as the two traditions came in contact, a new and unique form of music emerged. One of the most fascinating developments in Japanese music was the introduction of new instruments in the south of Japan, and their metamorphosis as they migrated north via Kyoto and Tokyo. Several composers on this disc have focused on natural themes, with water being a favourite and obvious choice. The works have been chosen to give a sampling of the diversity of Japanese music, from the beautiful, traditional folk-songs to the complex and challenging multi-movement works, many of which evoke the traditional instruments, namely shakuhachi and koto.