Monday, June 26, 2017

Motohiko Hino Quartet + 1 - 1976 - Ryuhyo - Sailing Ice

Motohiko Hino Quartet + 1
Ryuhyo - Sailing Ice

01. Ryuhyo - Sailing Ice
02. Soul Trane
03. New Moon

Bass – Nobuyoshi Ino
Drums – Motohiko Hino
Guitar – Kazumi Watanabe
Tenor Saxophone – Masabumi Yamaguchi
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Yasuaki Shimizu

Recorded on February 7, 1976 at Nemuro Shimin Kaikan.

CD contains two bonus tracks which were not included in the original LP, and all tracks are arranged in the order they were played. This is a powerful and exciting set of modal and post-bop jazz. Recommended!

A record with a really beautiful title – and a sound that definitely lives up to the "Sailing Ice" on the cover! The music is very much in the best post-Coltrane mode – played by a group led by the great Japanese drummer Motohiko Hino, and featuring Mabumi Yamaguchi on tenor and Yasuaki Shimizu on soprano and tenor – two reed players who really express themselves with a great sense of spirituality, and lots of searching energy throughout. The tracks are mostly originals (save for a version of "Soultrane") – served up in freewheeling modal grooves, and peppered with sharp, soulful solos that search out bold new territory, but which never get too free and sloppy. The set was recorded live, but the recording quality is excellent 

Motohiko Hino Quartet - 1975 - Toko Motohiko Hino Quartet At Nemu Jazz Inn

Motohiko Hino Quartet
Toko Motohiko Hino Quartet At Nemu Jazz Inn

01. You Make Me So Sad 16:33
02. Olive's Step 10:02
03. Endless Way 16:46

Bass – Isao Suzuki
Drums – Motohiko Hino
Electric Guitar – Kazumi Watanabe
Keyboards – Mikio Masuda

Recorded on July 20, 1975 at Nemu no Sato

A concert (captured very well ) from late 70s recorded in Japan, homeland of the drummer/leader. Slightly fusion-y styled the core of it's electrified free-ish hard bop with great dynamics and energy from all but specially Hino & Kazumi Watanabe (who you would not believe it's the same guitarist from many 80's albums as here he's got a completely biting tone and jazzier approach to his playing). Hot-cha! This reminded me of some of the jazzier moments of fusion greats like Area from Italy, some of the hot early CMP albums by Mark Naussef, and the best albums from Larry Coryell...yet these guys manage to come up with their own brand of high-voltage jazz that was so popular in the 70s...and one immediately understands why when listening to a great album like this one! Recommended.

This is one of the many great electric jazz albums from Japan from the 70s, but it's notable because it's a lesser known album from that already lesser known scene and it's a total smoker that you probably aren't aware of, but should be. This was originally released in 1975 and has been a real rarity until this recent reissue and when this CD disappears, it will be a real rarity again!

This was recorded live by a quartet of Katsumi Watanabe-guitar, Mikio Masuda-electric piano & organ, Isao Suzuki-bass and Motohiko Hino-drums.

This has some attractive themes, but the emphasis is on the group interplay and the incredible stretching out these themes and these musicians afford the music to do. 

It reminds me of some of Larry Coryell's earliest and best electric work, but with a better rest of the band than the Eleventh House (sorry, Eleventh House fans!) and also a bit of Isotope. If you dig that free-ish, jammy, early period of exploratory electric jazz, this will curl your toes in a happy frenzy. Highly recommended!

Motohiko Hino - 1971 - First Album

Motohiko Hino 
First Album

01. Gingerbread Boy 14:52
02. Into The Heaven 5:11
03. Introduction - Mine Tune 20:40

Alto Saxophone – Kohsuke Mine
Bass, Electric Bass – Yoshio Ikeda
Drums – Motohiko Hino
Piano, Electric Piano – Hideo Ichikawa
Tenor Saxophone – Takao Uematsu

Recorded at Tokyo Studio Center on September 6, 7 & 8, 1970.

Hino’s father was a musician and dancer, and Motohiko became a tap dancer before taking up the drums when he was 10 (his brother Terumasa Hino is a notable trumpeter). Hino turned professional when he was 17 and from 1972 won, yearly, the Swing Journal polls as Japan’s top drummer. Hino moved to New York in 1978, and during a short stay played in JoAnne Brackeen’s trio. 
He subsequently worked with artists such as Joe Henderson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Sonny Rollins, and Hugh Masekela, while also recording several sessions as a leader. Sailing Stone and It’s There, recorded in 1991 and 1993 respectively, saw Hino mixing originals with versions of songs by the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Hino, who died of cancer in 1999, had a sharp, dynamic drumming style which reflected the playing of his two favourites, Tony Williams and Elvin Jones.

Terumasa Hino - 1981 - Double Rainbow

Terumasa Hino
Double Rainbow

01. Merry-Go-Round 14:46
02. Cherry Hill Angel 8:06
03. Yellow Jacket 4:42
04. Miwa Yama 6:21
05. Aboriginal 12:24

Bass – Anthony Jackson, Hervey Mason
Cornet – Terumasa Hino
Drums – Lenny White
Keyboards – Herbie Hancock, Kenny Kirkland, Masabumi Kikuchi
Percussion – Airto Moreira
Saxophone – Steve Grossman

Recorded and Mixed at Sound Ideas Studios, New York City in February and March, 1981 except Herbie Hancock parts on Merry-Go-Round recorded at The Automatt, San Francisco on February 24, 1981 by Leslie Jones

1st thing. Don't let your son design your record sleeve. Especially if he can't focus a camera.
Beautiful work from trumpeter Terumasa Hino – an early 80s date that was issued in the US, but one that's got as much bold power and freewheeling soul as his Japanese releases from a decade before! The album's surprisingly open for the time – not in the slicker mode that Columbia was hitting as they crossed over some of their 70s fusion players, but in spacious territory that has Hino blowing cornet, in larger arrangements from keyboardist Masabumi Kikuchi and Gil Evans – the latter of whom seems to contribute a strong sense of color and tone to the album! 

Terumasa Hino - 1980 - Daydream

Terumasa Hino 

01. Still Be Bop 6:25
02. Late Summer 6:04
03. Sweeter & Sweeter 5:51
04. La Hora Azul 2:21
05. Antigua Boy 6:45
06. Gently 6:45
07. Goin' Fo The Gold 7:31

Alto Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo Flute – George Young
Backing Vocals – Janice Pendarvis (tracks: B2), Lani Groves (tracks: A3), Luther Vandross (tracks: B2), Yvonne Lewis (tracks: A3, B2)
Baritone Saxophone – Howard Johnson (3)
Bass – Anthony Jackson (tracks: A1-A3, B1-B3)
Bass Trombone – David Taylor
Cello – Charles McCracken, Jonathan Abramowitz
Cornet – Terumasa Hino (tracks: A1, A3-B-3)
Drums – Steve Gadd (tracks: A1-A3, B1-B3)
Flugelhorn – Terumasa Hino (tracks: A2)
Guitar – John Tropea (tracks: A1, A3, B1-B3)
Keyboards – Bob James (tracks: A2), Masabumi Kikuchi (tracks: A4)
Lead Vocals – Janice Pendarvis (tracks: A3), Lani Groves (tracks: B2)
Piano – Leon Pendarvis (tracks: A1, A3, B1-B3)
Saxophone – Dave Liebman (tracks: A1, B1)
Steel Drums – Freddie Harris (tracks: B1)
Synthesizer – Ed Walsh (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B3)
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Michael Brecker
Trombone – Tom Malone
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Jon Faddis, Marvin Stamm
Viola – Alfred Brown, Herbert Sorkin, Lamar Alsop
Violin – Barry Finclair, Charles Libove, Jan Mullen, John Pintavalle, Joseph Rabushka, Marvin Morgenstern, Max Allen

A great fusion set from this legendary Japanese trumpeter – one that has Terumas Hino stepping over to work in America – with a sound that's almost as if he'd decided to record an album for the CTI label at the time! Arrangements here are by keyboardist Leon Pendervis – who heads up an all-star lineup that includes Bob James on more keyboards, John Tropea on guitar, Steve Gadd on drums, and both Michael Brecker and Dave Liebman on reeds – all working in a warmly soulful groove that even includes a bit of occasional vocals from Lani Groves and Luther Vandross! Hino was great in his 60s soul years, and during his spiritual moments of the early 70s – and he's equally wonderful here, in a nicely different setting

Terumasa Hino - 1979 - City Connection

Terumasa Hino 
City Connection

01. Hino's Reggae 8:10
02. Stay In My Waking Heart 4:32
03. City Connection 6:38
04. Send Me Your Feelings 4:35
05. High Tide-Manhattan Ecstasy 6:59
06. Samba De-La Cruz 2:46
07. Blue Smiles (Tribute To Blue Mitchell) 7:32

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – David Spinozza
Alto Saxophone, Flute – David Tofani
Baritone Saxophone, Flute [Alto] – Ronnie Cuber
Bass – Anthony Jackson
Cello – Charles McCracken, Jonathan Abramowitz
Concertmaster, Violin – David Nadien
Congas, Percussion, Voice – Nana
Contractor – David Nadien, Marvin Stamm
Cornet – Terumasa Hino
Drums – Howard King
Electric Piano [Rhodes], Piano [Acoustic] – Harry Whitaker, L. Leon Pendarvis
Flugelhorn – Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, Terumasa Hino
Handclaps – Harry Whitaker, Nan*, Terumasa Hino
Soprano Saxophone, Flute [Alto] – Dave Liebman
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Harold Vick
Trombone – David Bargeron, Wayne Andre
Trumpet – Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker
Viola – Al Brown, Emanuel Vardi
Violin – Charles Libove, Gerald Tarack, Harry Cykman, Lewis Eley, Marvin Morgenstern, Max Ellen, Richard Sortomme
Vocals – Janice Pendarvis, Lani Groves

Recorded and Mixed at A&R Recording Studios, New York City in July, 1979.

Smooth funky fusion from Terumasa Hino – an artist who's moving past the more freewheeling sounds of his early years – into a New York groove that really fits the taxi image on the cover! The set has Hino taking a page from some of his more electric contemporaries on the Japanese scene – working with American musicians, in a blend of soul and jazz that adds one more feather to Terumasa's very large musical cap! The album features arrangements and keyboard work from Leon Pendarvis, who did a lot of great uptempo soul in the 70s – plus some especially nice work from Harry Whitaker, who'd worked on some of Roy Ayers' best records – and overall, the sound is similar to Ayers' albums at the time – with a jazz base at the core, some tighter soul-based arrangements, and just a bit of vocals to warm up the sound. 

Terumasa Hino - 1977 - May Dance

Terumasa Hino 
May Dance

01. Wind Blows Your Skin 7:12
02. The Wild Lady 8:43
03. Big Celebration 8:12
04. Free Land 9:27
05. Moss On The Rock 6:24
06. Lovin' May 3:52

Acoustic Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Tony Williams
Electric Guitar – John Scofield
Trumpet – Terumasa Hino

Recorded May 7, 1977 at Vanguard Studio, NYC.

The 1970s were dark days for people who didn't think Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew' was the next great thing. All the venues that used to hire jazz musicians brought in DJs, the Playboy Clubs folded faster than they'd opened, and generally Rock & Roll, Country Western and Disco took over.

I'm not gong to dis everything that came out of that, and by the 1980s Miles was making cross over music (with Sco, for that matter) that I like.

But the post-bop tradition lived on in Europe and Japan (where it still sort of does, though generally in a tamer form I've heard referred to as 'Euro-Jazz.'

Sco did some great recordings int he 1970s, some as bandleader with such greats as Hal Galper and Richie Beirach backing him up. The down side to those albums is he basically approached the guitar exclusively as if it were a horn.

Scofield may have been the first guitarist to really grasp the Coltrane/Shorter/Henderson concepts, but the guitar is a polyphonic instrument, and using it strictly for single-note playing seems to me kind of like playing the piano with one finger.

Which is a long way to go to the 'why' I rank this as one of the very best recordings Sco made in the pre-Miles days. There is no piano, just a solid accompaniment from Carter & Williams (of course), and Hino's great playing (maybe the first trumpet player after Woddy Shaw and Freddie Hubbard to develop some new bebop vocabulary), and besides his fluid blowing, Sco comps.

Yes, that's right. He comps. I know, he's done it on other albums, but here he functions in the most pianistic, which is to say polyphonic way, you'll almost ever find him.

Couple this with Hal Galper's album 'Ivory Forest' which has Sco doing a harmonized solo arrangement of 'Ruby, My Dear,' and you don't have to leave the house for a week or two. You can just listen to these albums over and over...

Terumasa Hino - 1977 - Hip Seagull

Terumasa Hino 
Hip Seagull

01. Hip Seagull 16:01
02. This Planet Is Ours 6:54
03. Fall 6:28
04. Life Trip 7:35

Double Bass [Acoustic], Electric Bass [Fender] – Clint Houston
Drums – George Ohtsuka (tracks: B1 to B3), Motohiko Hino (tracks: A1)
Guitar – John Scofield
Percussion, Congas, Voice – M'tume
Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Mikio Masuda
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Kohsuke Mine
Trumpet – Terumasa Hino
Vocals – Kimiko Kasai (tracks: B2), Tawatha (tracks: B1)

Recorded August 10, 11, 1977 at Victor Studios, Tokyo and December 15, 1977 at Sound Ideas Studio, NYC.

Terumasa Hino is one of Japan's most well-known jazz trumpeters, and has a long and illustrious career that has seen him play with a huge array of different musicians both here and in the US. His 1977 album Hip Seagull has now been re-issued on CD in Japan, and it's  one of the most popular reissues of the past month. With some great Fender Rhodes and Fender bass accompaniment and some ethereal vocals from Tawatha and Kimiko Kasai, the album has a wonderful electric but spiritual vibe.

The sixteen-minute title track that was the first side of the original album is a Hino composition which starts softly and slowly and then gradually builds into a classic slow funk groove that is up there with some of the classic Miles or Freddie tunes of the era. The rest of the album is made up of three tunes, This Planet Is Ours and Fall, both great spiritual tunes and Life Trip, a superb jazz samba tune. Definitely worth getting.

Terumasa Hino - 1976 - Hogiuta

Terumasa Hino 

01. Gyohkoh 4:17
02. Hohjoh 5:11
03. Yuhwa 4:13
04. Hogiuta 4:23
05. Yuhkyu 1:39
06. The Good People 15:05
07. Conclusion 6:43

Bass – Cecil McBee
Congas – M´tume
Drums – Motohiko Hino
Flugelhorn – Terumasa Hino
Percussion – James M'tume, Motohiko Hino, Terumasa Hino
Trumpet – Terumasa Hino
Voice – Cecil McBee, James Mtume, Motohiko Hino, Terumasa Hino

Recorded May 18,19 and 23, 1976 at Vanguard Studio, NYC

One of the most striking mid 70s sessions from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – an extended suite of tracks performed by a very hip group that includes Mtume on congas and percussion, Cecil McBee on bass, and Motohiko Hino on drums! The approach here is almost in a mid 70s spiritual soul jazz mode – with lots of spare percussion and bass work at the beginning, building in mood and meaning as the set goes on and things heat up. Hino plays trumpet and percussion, and all players vocalize at parts of the performance – chanting along with the tunes in a way that really adds a soulful undercurrent to the record.

Terumasa Hino - 1975 - Speak to Loneliness

Terumasa Hino 
Speak to Loneliness

01.  Speak To Loneliness
02. Little Lovers
03. Hi-nology

Tsutomu Okada, bass
Motohiko Hino, drums
Fumio Itabashi, piano
Hideo Miyata. soprano and tenor saxophone
Terumasa Hino, trumpet
Kiyoshi Sugimoto, guitar
Guilherme Franco, percussion
Suetoshi Shimizu, tenor saxophone
Shigeharu Mukai, trombone
Yuhji Imamura, percussion

Recorded January 15, 1975 at PSC Recording Studiol, Tokyo.

A classic set from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – and a record that's filled with long, open-ended tracks that rank with his best work of the time! Hino's got all the boldness of his best early years here – none of the smoother sounds that marked some of his albums in the US, and a very spacious approach to trumpet that's clearly inspired by Miles and Freddie Hubbard, but which has all the sharp tones that we love in Hino's work too. The instrumentation is mostly non-electric, but there's an undercurrent of fusion-based ideas – with a lot of free-wheeling solos, and lots of space to open up 

Terumasa Hino - 1975 - Live In Concert

Terumasa Hino 
Live In Concert

01. Logical Mystery 23:39
02. In The Darkness 11:23
03. 'Round About Midnight 11:05

Alto Saxophone – Sadao Watanabe
Bass – Tsutomu Okada
Congas – Yuhij Imamura
Drums – Motohiko Hino
Electric Bass – Akira Okazawa
Electric Piano – Fumio Itabashi
Guitar – Kiyoshi Sugimoto
Percussion – Masahiko Togashi
Tenor Saxophone – Hideo Miyata
Trombone – Shigeharu Mukai
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Terumasa Hino

Live recorded on April 14, 1975 at Yuhbinchokin Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

Terumasa Hino - 1974 - Into Eternity

Terumasa Hino 
Into Eternity

01. Mr Happiness
02. Song For Bumiji
03. Ode To Workman
04. Mickey's Trip
05. Horizon
06. Eastern Egg
07. Kaze
08. Cycle Circle
09. Midnight

Terumasa Hino-trumpet
Hideo Miyata-soprano
Mikio Masuda-piano
Tsutomu Okada-bass
Motohiko Hino-bass
Isao Suzuki-bass (ode to workman)
Yuhji Inamaru-congas (ode to workman)

This is an album that continues to confound a genre label, and avoids sounding out-dated. This is a monumental J-jazz work that can be compared to the "Live in Berlin" album. However the power and creativity here are unmatched by far. This album has definite claims on being one of the first Japanese Spiritual jazz epics. When it came out, Hino's preference for high note scales was compared to those of Hannibal; for example, in the opening track, 'Mr. Happiness': Hino rocks! The mood shifts into a McCoy Tyner-like feeling with the piano modal-aurgasmic orgy by Masuda-san on 'Song for Bumiji'; it does not get any better than this. This track has low-down, subdued introspective, if not karma-dredging, hypnotic pulse to it. Can you hear the subtle Afro-spiritual vibe here? While, these are not black musicians, the spiritual groove could not be darker.

In the Reggie Workman tribute, 'Ode to Workman', Uematsu-sensei smokes the tenor with some snarly-tarlyish modal vibes. The horn section clearly are unafraid of a challenge and show their muscles on the undisputed masterpiece of this album, which has the underlying premise of the three horns are set loose quicker than any Baskerville hounds from a Sherlock Holmes thriller! As an unabashed sax fanatic, this number will grab your soul; twist it, stroke it, titillating your senses as your pulse quickens with each solo. When I met with Poo-sun and Hino-san earlier this year, this album was brought up as one of the more commented pieces of work. Hino-san said his management company continually receives requests from the UK and the States for a reissue; what you guys do not have enough spiritual jazz as it is?! Anyhow, moving on. . .'Mickie's Trip' presents the mastery and finesse of Masuda-san on 'dem ivories; turn down the lights and hold your cup of favourite poison tightly as you experience the Japanese spiritual astral travels.

The second disk has the group continuing to show off their diverse talent by moving into some J-rock/J-funk nuances on the smoldering 'Horizon' with a very snazzy modal intro complete with tinges of an Afro/Far East beat in the background. Do not miss Uematsu-san's extremely impressive and lengthy solo. They further stamp this impression deeper on 'Eastern Egg' with its 'hot 'n cold' J-rock groove. Make no mistake this is the J-rock that blazed the trails for all of later crap-ass mutilations which many know as 'J-fusion or J-rock'. I think it was typical of Kikuchi, Honda and Hino-san in their early work to play with the flow of their albums, from fast to slow tempos, from modal to hard bop. Indeed, 'Kaze' ('Wind') is clearly a meditative spiritual number that allows for some breathing space after the previous track's quick tempo. The last two tracks of the album close up with some free-ish, exploratory and improvisational paths. 'Midnight' is simply an exercise in the use of silence or pauses and is built around some tight playing ¨C as if to say, "that is how our jazz is meant to be". This classic album is superb in the variety of tracks, the balancing of cool and hot tones that are cleverly splashed across their musical canvas with exquisite taste.