Thursday, June 22, 2017

Terumasa Hino Quintet - 1969 - Hi-Nology

Terumasa Hino Quintet 
1969 
Hi-Nology



01. Like Miles 9:54
02. Electric Zoo 12:30
03. Hi-Nology 14:29
04. Dupe 7:02

Drums – Motohiko Hino
Electric Bass – Kunimitsu Inaba
Electric Piano – Hiromasa Suzuki
Tenor Saxophone – Takeru Muraoka
Trumpet – Terumasa Hino

Recorded at Yamaha Hall, Ginza on July 31, 1969



One of the most unforgettable japanese rare groove masterpiece released under the New Stream In Jazz catalogue For Nippon Columbia Takt Jazz Series. Recorded at the Yamaha Hall in Ginza, Hi-Nology is performed by the greatest japanese trumpeter & his fabulous first quintet featuring Takeru Muraoka, Kunimitsu Inaba, Hiromasa Suzuki plus his brother Motohiko. Hi-Nology is without a doubt, the expression of a Terumasa Hino at the top of his play, inspired by the Miles Davis' work (which is never too far), who indeed, during the same year recorded In A Silent Way, which will launch the electrification in Jazz, and therefore, opening the fusion period. Titles include the Davis' tribute, Like Miles, the Free Jazz of Electric Zoo, Hi-Nology and the Avant Garde Dupe, all composed by Terumasa Hino except Electric Zoo by Takeru Muraoka. 

Long considered a jazz legend and Japan’s foremost trumpeter, Terumasa Hino has played with almost all the jazz heavyweights throughout the past half century, from Gil Evans and Elvin Jones to Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Born in Tokyo in 1942, Hino made his professional debut at the tender age of thirteen, drawing his main inspiration from Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis.

For the first few years of his career, Hino was something of an opportunist, even jumping open Japan’s early ‘60s eleki bandwagon with the cash-in LP TRUMPET IN BLUEJEANS. However, his fiery temperament and ‘large brilliant tone’, as The Grove Dictionary of Jazz termed it saw Hino’s late ‘60s work increase both in output and quality, and his 1969 Columbia LP HI-NOLOGY as The Terumasa Hino Quintet was extremely successful commercially.

Japanese leading trumpet player Terumasa Hino's "Hi-Nology" is his most commercially successful album and in fact his start to international fame.Released in 1969,it was one of the very first fusion album recorded by country's artists and released in Japan.Sometimes described as "Miles Davis undone step" in reality it isn't that.

Terumasa Hino started as mainstream jazz trumpeter and in 1968 switched from hard bop to more modern post-bop forming Hino-Kikuchi Quintet with pianist Masabumi Kikuchi. Their debut,recorded same year,was released in 1969 only, and few month later Terumasa Hino releases "Hi-Nology" with same band,just with different pianist (acoustic pianist Kikuchi has been changed with Hiromasa Suzuki on electric piano).The concept of electric fusion was just in the air around, and Hino was obviously heavily influenced by Davis re-tuning his quintet for playing more advanced sound.But if Miles very soon brewed jazz improvisation with psychedelic rock jamming,Terumasa stayed deeply rooted in mainstream jazz building his fusion on boppish basis.Miles concentrated his interest on textures against form, Hino demonstrates perfectly framed and structured songs in mainstream jazz tradition. 

Released on the peak of fusion "revolutionary" popularity, this album was a true success between both yesterday's jazz adepts searching for new sound and part of rock fans,since very jazzy by its nature album's compositions were not so different from tuneful well-structured rock songs (thanks to thunder-like Motohiko Hino drumming Hi-Nology sounds not all that different from some rock albums of the time).

So,representing just a different (and generally more conservative by its nature) leg of just-born fusion comparing with Miles Davis music of the moment, Hino's quintet plays music which has born under Davis influence. The real reason why it sometimes sounds more advanced is that that hard-bop rooted Hino is more open to another huge moment's influence - free jazz. Miles was known by his negative point of view towards free jazz (what not always means his music isn't influenced by it), Terumasa Hino saw free jazz as part of his music (even if in reality Hino's music as rule is never such free as Miles'). As a result on "Hi-Nology" one can find lot of freer soloing which don't change basic structure but add lot of fashionable free jazz arrangements hardly possible in Miles music. Miles has been never interested in flirting with free jazz, and because of that Hino music for some ears sounds as "Miles undone next step brewing fusion and free jazz". I believe if Miles would be interested to make this step his music would sound much freer.

"Hi-Nology" stays one of the best early Japanese fusion album and start of commercial success for Terumasa Hino. Besides of few other country scene's similar releases it built the basis for plenteous and influential J-fusion movement some years later.

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