Friday, February 10, 2017

Ryo Kawasaki - 1976 - Eight Mile Road

Ryo Kawasaki 
Eight Mile Road

01. Eight Mile Road 8:31
02. Montevideo 7:08
03. Good Night John 5:27
04. On The Dot 10:20
05. El Diablo 8:55

Ryo Kawasaki - electric guitar
Sam Morrison - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone on Track 1,2,4 & 5
Andy Laverne - Piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet Hohner, Synthesizer Arp String Ensemble
Phil Clendeninn - Synthesizer ARP Odyssey on Track 1, 4 & 5
Herb Bushler - electric bass
Buddy Williams - drums
Abdulah - Congas Percussion on Track 1,2,4 & 5

Recoeded March 8, 9, 1976 at Electric Lady Studios, NYC.

Eight Mile Road is a follow up album to Prism (1975) recorded by Ryo Kawasaki for East Wind Records. At the time of this recording, he was working and touring with Elvin Jones Jazz Machine and the first two tracks of this album were conceived during the tour with this band. Track one, "Eight Mile Road", was written while visiting Jones' home town Detroit performing at Baker's Keyboard Lounge, while track two, "Montevideo", was written while visiting and performing with Elvin Jones in the capital of Uruguay.

In addition to the same rhythm section from Prism, Kawasaki has invited saxophonist Sam Morrison (who was the last saxophonist with Miles Davis band until Davis' retirement during 1975) and pianist Andy Laverne (from Stan Getz's band at that time) to add jazzy acoustic flavor over his jazz funk-oriented compositions and electric sound.

This album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios built by Jimi Hendrix, and also won the best recording of the year by Japanese Jazz magazine Swing Journal in 1976.

I came across this LP back in my college DJ days, in that it was one of those promotional copies.  I had never heard of Ryo Kawasaki before, and was immediately impressed with his guitar skills. But what sticks with me from this album is the cut "Montevideo", which seems to only have been placed on this LP.  I searched for a copy of the LP recently, and instead was able to find an out-of-print CD from Taiwan on eBay.  I immediately snatched it up.  This album is still unavailable (in any form), so I post it here for your enjoyment.  



  2. Your blog is absolutely amazing!! Thank you. John