Mal Waldron - Reminicent Suite
As the BBE Music J Jazz Masterclass Series hits its 19th title, the milestone is suitably matched by a collaboration between two giants of jazz brought together to deliver an exceptional album, working with a band of the very best Japanese jazz musicians.
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‘Reminicent Suite’ by American pianist Mal Waldron and Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino was originally released in 1973 on the famed Victor label and was one of several Japan-only albums recorded and released by Waldron over a thirty-year period, most of which have never been available outside Japan. ‘Reminicent Suite’ comprises two extended tracks, both taking up a side each. The title track on Side A is composed by Waldron, and is a dark, brooding heavy groove typical of his early 70s sound. ‘Black Forest’ on side B is written by Hino and is a vivid and energetic piece, layered and textured with dense percussion and Hino’s signature trumpet tone.
Mal Waldron started out in the early 1950s working extensively on the Prestige label with notable figures such as Gene Ammons, Jackie McLean and Charles Mingus. Most famously, he worked with Billie Holiday before leaving the States in the mid-60s and relocating to Europe where he established himself as a major figure working across many countries including France, Italy, and Germany, where he made his home in Munich. In 1969, Waldron recorded the first releases for two major European jazz labels, ECM and Enja, before visiting Japan on tour for the first time in 1970. Waldron instantly fell in love with Japan and, over the next three decades, extensively toured and recorded there for numerous labels.
Terumasa Hino is one of the towering figures of post-war modern jazz in Japan. Coming to prominence via the Hideto Shiraki and Sadao Watanabe bands in the mid-60s, Hino soon emerged as one of the prime movers in new jazz generation that changed the direction of jazz in Japan. He explored a more open, freer, and improvised sound, mixing psychedelic and rock elements with freeform and post-bop jazz. Hino recorded for many of the leading jazz labels of the era including Columbia, Three Blind Mice, and East Wind and would go on to relocate to the US in the mid-70s, immersing himself with the leading fusion players of the New York scene including Larry Corryell, Mtume, Al Foster, Dave Liebman and many more. In the early 80s, Hino’s jazz funk tracks were dancefloor smashes on the UK jazz dance scene.
Joining Waldron and Hino on ‘Reminicient Suite’ is a band made up of the very best Japanese jazzman of their day: Takeo Uematsu on sax, Terumasa’s brother, Motohiko Hino, on drums, and the legendary bass master, Isao Suzuki. Together, they deliver one of the very best albums of the era, a richly articulated and dynamic session that exemplifies the very best that the Japanese jazz scene was doing in the early 1970s.
‘Reminicent Suite’ is pressed on 200g vinyl presented in a gatefold sleeve plus obi strip, with new photos by Tadayuki Naito; translated original sleeve notes; and a 7500-word essay including interview with Terumasa Hino from Tony Higgins, co-curator of the J Jazz Masterclass Series. This is the first time this album has been available outside of Japan.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is personally curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese modern jazz. The series features rare material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.