Masaru Imada Trio + 1 - Planets
Since 2018, BBE Music has been leading the field in reissuing rare modern jazz from Japan’s golden period spanning the late 60s to the early 80s. The J Jazz Masterclass Series continues to present the finest in Japanese jazz with ‘Planets’ by Masaru Imada Trio + 1.
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Originally released in 1977 as a private press album, ‘Planets’ showcases the refined playing and sophisticated compositions of one of Japan’s leading pianists, Masaru Imada. In a fifty- plus year career he has released over 40 albums, including several that have won awards from some of Japan’s leading music publications and has recorded with leading US jazz artists such as David Sanborn, Brecker Brothers, Steve Gadd, and Grover Washington Jr.
Imada’s Bosendorfer piano is joined by the drums of Tetsujiro Obara and the bass of Kunimitsu Inaba, augmented by Yuji Imamura on percussion. The opening title track on Planets (featured on J Jazz vol 3) is a wafer-thin modal waltz, beginning with gentle bells and shells, followed by Obara’s deft brush work and Inaba’s hypnotically pliant bass that gives a discrete yet steady support to the gossamer melody from Imada-san’s piano. The other standout track is the suite, Sea’s Pasture, an epic piece that undulates and heaves, like the dark endless ocean, rich with mystery and each side of the album ends with a solo piece on the haunting Bosendorfer.
Planets comes with full reproduction of the original artwork with obi strip, extra photos, a translation of the original sleeve note and a 3000 word new sleeve note by Tony Higgins including an interview with Masaru Imada himself.
The J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden for BBE Music. credits
2. Blue Road
3. A Marionette
4. Sea’s Pasture