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


The Band/The Band (1969)

A rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1968, The Band's second album (#9 on the US album charts). Also called as "The Brown Album". A masterpiece of roots rock, which established their establish style as a rock band based on American roots music (folk, blues and country). A concept album on the American South of 19th-century. All the songs are originals, mainly composed by Robbie Robertson (guitar). Includes singles, "Up on Cripple Creek"/"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Rag Mama Rag". Lots of excellent songs, such as a beautiful ballad "Whispering Pines" and soulful "The Unfaithful Servant". Produced by John Simon.

The Band

| Music: B |


Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (1957/2005) *

A live album by The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane (Blue Note). Recorded on November 29, 1957, at Carnegie Hall. The tape, which was recorded by Voice of America(the US shortwave broadcasting), was found at the Library of Congress and released on CD in 2005. It's monaural, but its sound quality is pretty good. A precious live recording and historic document which cannot be listened to in other recordings. You can listen to the interplay between Monk (piano) in his prime, who established his unique off-center style, and Trane (tenor saxophone), who was moving into his unique high speed improvisational style called as "sheets of sound", in clear sound. The tracks are mainly Monk's original compositions, such as "Monk's Mood", "Evidence", "Epistrophy" and "Blue Monk".

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall


B12/Electro-Soma (1993) *

A British electronic music duo of Mike Golding (mixing) and Steve Rutter (mixing), B12's first album released from Warp Records as a part of the "Artificial Intelligence" series. A compilation including their previously released tracks with their pseudonyms, Musicology, Redcell, and Cmetric, in 1991-1993. A classic of intelligent dance music and ambient techno influenced by Detroit techno. Techno with using synths such as Roland's digital synthesizer JD-800, and its rhythm tracks are in the Detroit techno style, but it has emotional and melodic compositions featuring beautiful synths strings. Suitable for home listening rather than club listening. Imaginative world-view inspired by science fiction and associated with space and future. The 2-CD remastered edition with "Electro-Soma II", a compilation of rare tracks, was released from Warp in 2017.


| Music: B |