Pre-order products will be shipped to arrive as close as possible to the release date. All orders are dispatched in a single consignment so any other items in your cart will be held until all products are available. Please note that release dates for items on pre-order are subject to change.

Rock Communication Yagibushi

A 14 track japan album (42m 38s) — released June 14th 2024 on Wewantsounds

Norio Maeda was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1934 and learnt to read music from an early age thanks to his father. He was largely self-taught on piano and quickly got into jazz, before moving to Tokyo in the mid 50s to immerse himself in the city's thriving jazz scene. there Maeda started his own group before joining The West Liners led by saxophonist Konosuke Saijo as pianist and arranger in 1959. During the 60s his career took off as an in-demand arranger, composer and pianist and he worked for numerous labels including King, Toshiba and Teichiku and also for Japanese TV.

Maeda arranged many pop and jazz albums by the likes of Nobuo Hara, Terumasa Hino, Jazz singer Mieko Irota and, in 1969, he released the album "This is Jazz Rock" with saxophonist Jiro Inagaki, reinterpreting international pop, jazz and soul hits with groove arrangements which would paved the way for "Rock Communication Yagibushi" a year later. The latter was indeed following the same formula except it swapped international hits with traditional Japanese folk music used for Matsuri, the traditional Japanese festivals celebrating deities through dances, music and parades.

For the album, Maeda used two line ups - a reduced one comprising Takeshi Inomata on drums, Shigeo Suzuki on sax and flute, Kiyoshi Sugimoto on guitar and Tetsuo Fushimi on trumpet - and an extended one adding three trumpets, four trombones and a different drummer, Takahiro Suzuki.

From the opener "Yagibushi" to the closing track "Kuroda Bushi" the album is an explosive succession of instrumental funk and breakbeat nuggets that are reminiscent of David Axelrod with shades of Italian cinematic groove adding a Japanese twist to the mix. Highlights include the slow burner "Soran Bushi" played by the extended line up with bumping bass, funky guitar licks and superb wind arrangements and "Mt. Bandai Aizu" played by the first line up and propelled by an enormous groove. It's hard to pick a favourite as Norio Maeda hits the mark every time and manages to display many fascinating shades of funk throughout the album. One of the most coveted Japanese classics on the international diggers scene, "Rock Communication Yagibushi" is finally available internationally and will please Japanese Jazz Funk's many fans.

  • Kudos happily ship all items worldwide.
  • Shipping costs and delivery times are available here.
  • UK items are sent tracked as standard at no extra cost.
  • We aim to dispatch orders placed before 2pm on the same day.
  • We are unable to ship orders on weekends or Bank Holidays.
  • If you purchase a pre-order item amongst an order of in-stock releases, we will typically hold your order until all items are in ready to send.
  • Although we use all reasonable means to ensure that your order is delivered within a specified time, we cannot accept any responsibility for late deliveries due to circumstances outside of our control. We will do our best to inform you of any unexpected delay.