Can/Tago Mago (1971) **

A German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany, in 1968, Can's third album. Originally released as a double LP (released as a CD). A masterpiece in their early days, released after Japanese vocalist Damo Suzuki joined, and a krautrock classic. An experimental album including the elements of psychedelic rock, jazzy improvisation, funk, world music, electronic music and tape editing techniques, and featuring Jaki Liebezeit's funky virtuoso drumming called the "metronome style" and repeated beat. A long track with a trancey repeated beat, "Halleluwah" (over 19 minutes) is excellent. Had a huge influence on Public Image Ltd. and other post-punk bands. A double CD "40th Anniversary Edition", including the 2004 remastered edition and previously unreleased 1972 live performances, was released in 2011.

Tago Mago

| Music: C |


Masayuki Takayanagi, Kaoru Abe/Kaitai Teki Kohkan: New Direction (1970)

A live recording by the duo of a Japanese free jazz guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi (guitar) and a Japanese free jazz alto saxophonist Kaoru Abe (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, harmonica), under the name of Takayanagi's unit "New Direction", at Kousei Nenkin Hall, Tokyo, on June 28, 1970. A noisy free improvisation featuring the entanglement between Takayanagi's distorted feedback-guitar and Abe's alto saxophone, which seems to be unsynchronized as well as synergic. One of the important works of avant-garde Jazz, free improvisation and noise music history, but the sound of the CD reissued in 1999 by the DIW label of Diskunion was picked up from LP and is poor in sound quality. The LP is rarely offered in markets (the remastered LP was released from Craftman Records label of Diskunion in 2017, but it is very expensive). Recommended to thpse who like free improvisation, such as Peter Brötzmann and Derek Bailey, and noise music.

Kaitai Teki Kohkan: New Direction


Rossini/10 Overtures (Chailly, 1995)

A collection of overtures of operas composed by Gioachino Rossini, an Italian composer of the Romantic period known for his opera compositions (Decca). Gorgeous and dynamic music featuring light rhythms, clear melodies and his distinctive uplifting "Rossini crescendo". Includes 10 overtures, featuring famous "Guillaume Tell (William Tell)", "Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)", "Semiramide" and "La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie)". Riccardo Chailly conducts Orchestra Filarmonica Della Scala. Chailly's second recording of Rossini's overtures (he recorded them with National Philharmonic Orchestra in 1981 and 1984).

10 Overtures


David Bowie/Lodger (1979)

An English singer-songwriter, David Bowie's thirteenth studio album album (#4 on theUK album charts. #20 on the US album charts). The last of the Berlin Trilogy, a series of collaborations with Brian Eno. Unlike his previous two instrumental-oriented albums, all the tracks feature Bowie's vocals. A song-oriented, twisted avant-pop album including the elements of world music and the influences of krautrock. Includes singles, "Boys Keep Swinging" (#7 on the UK charts), "DJ", "Yassassin" and "Look Back in Anger". "Yassassin" is a Turkish-flavored reggae song. "Red Sails" is a good song influenced by the German band Neu!. "Red Money" is an alternate vbersion of the song "Sister Midnight" in Iggy Pop's album "The Idiot". Adrian Belew joined on guitar. Produced by David Bowie and Tony Visconti.


| Music: B |


Vijay Iyer Trio/Historicity (2009) *

An American jazz pianist and composer born in New York in 1971 as the son of Indian immigrants, Vijay Iyer's first album as leader on major label (ACT). Profound music with hard touches, by the piano trio, featuring complexly constructed compositions with ever-changing rhythms, including irregular meter and polyrhythm, and fragmented melodies, strongly influenced by Andrew Hill, but it is inexplicably flowing and united. Marcus Gilmore's virtuoso and groovy druming is exquisite. Stephan Crump's bowed-bass is also effective. It consists of four originals and six covers (Leonard Bernstein, M.I.A., Andrew Hill, Stevie Wonder, Julius Hemphill and Ronnie Foster). Chosen as the number one Jazz Album of the Year 2009 by The Village Voice, The New York Times and other papers.



The Syrup/The Syrup no Subete (All About the Syrup) -Best Hit Collection- (2009/2000-2007)

A rock band led by Geru Matsuishi (drums, songwriting) and Kazumi (vocals) and formed in Nagoya in 1999, The Syrup's best compilation album. Underground pop based on the style of Japanese popular music in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, such as GS, Kayokyoku and jazzy TV/movie soundtracks such as Takeo Yamashita, also including the elements of garage/psychedelic rock, soft rock, bossa nova. Lots of catchy and groove-oriented songs featuring guitar with effects (fuzz, wah pedal), electronic organ and flute. Includes tracks selected from the three original albums, a soundtrack album for a fictional movie, two mini albums, and two compilation albums. Also includes three previously-unreleased live tracks. "Setsunai Anata (Wistful You)" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of Elis Regina's Brazilian pop song "Se Você Pensa". Recommenced to those who like garage/psych-oriented GS, Jacks, Showa Kayo and lounge/mondo music.

The Syrup no Subete (All About the Syrup) -Best Hit Collection-


Café Jacques/Round the Back (1977)

A progressive rock band formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1973, Café Jacques's first album. A masterpiece of British modern rock including the elements of jazz rock and soft rock such as Steely Dan, blues rock like Little Feat, progressive rock such as Caravan and Genesis, and British pop like 10cc. The guest musicians are Phil Collins (percussion) from Genesis, Geoffrey Richardson (viola, flute, clarinet) from Caravan, and ex-Caravan John G. Perry (Wal bass). Produced by Rupert Hine. The last track "Lifeline" is a good piece with a dramatic development. "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" is a cover of the R&B song recorded by Bobby Bland.

Round the Back

| Music: C |


Rzewski/The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Takahashi, 1978) *

"The People United Will Never Be Defeated!" composed in 1975 by Frederic Rzewski, a Polish-American composer and pianist (ALM Records). A set of 36 variations for piano solo, based on the theme from the Chilean revolutionary song "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!" (composed by Sergio Ortega and written by Quilapayún). A difficult composition of contemporary music requiring virtuoso technique, and a pretty long piece (usually it takes over one hour, though this recording has about 58 minutes), but it includes not only contemporary music techniques such as pandiatonicism (using the diatonic scale without the limitations of tonality) and serialism, but also the elements of popular songs, Chilean folk music, the Romantics and jazz, so it is relatively accessible and popular as contemporary music. Also includes the quotations of "Bandiera Rossa/Red Flag", a song of the Italian labour movement, and "Solidaritätslied/Solidarity Song", a song composed by Hanns Eisler and written by Bertolt Brecht. The piano performed by Yuji Takahashi.

The People United Will Never Be Defeated!


Fujio Yamaguchi/Himatsubushi (Killing Time) (1974)

An important figure in the early days of Japanese rock, who had worked in the GS band the Dynamites and the rock band Murahachibu in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Fujio Yamaguchi's first solo album. Released after Murahachibu disbanded. Lots of good songs featuring Yamaguchi's guitar and vocals, such as rock and roll strongly influenced by the Rolling Stones, blues, and songs in the folk style. The lyrics are Japanese except "Can Not Wait" with English lyrics. "Osaraba (Goodbye)" is an impressive song in the country folk style, filled with dry lyricism. The remastered edition, including live recordings (three tracks) and previously unreleased demos (three tracks), was released in 2014.



Vince Guaraldi Trio/A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1964)

Vince Guaraldi is an American jazz pianist noted for his composing music for the animated TV specials "Peanuts" based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip. The soundtrack recorded by Vince Guaraldi's piano trio for "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (1963), an unreleased TV documentary film about Charles M. Schulz and "Peanuts", including animated parts. Guaraldi's first soundtrack for "Peanuts". Originally titled "Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown". Pop-oriented jazz album descended from the 1950s West Coast jazz, including lightly swinging rhythms and catchy compositions with simple and lyrical melodies. "Linus and Lucy" is one of Guaraldi's most famous pieces. It was used many times in the animated TV specials of "Peanuts" and become the de facto theme song of "Peanuts". Guaraldi's music for "Peanuts" introduced jazz to lots of kids and their parents since the mid-1960s, and contributed to popularizing jazz.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown