Kiyoshi Yamaya, Toshiko Yonekawa & Kifu Mitsuhashi
wamono groove: shakuhachi & koto jazz funk '76
Tip! Another goodie from these guys... Following the already classic Wamono A to Z trilogy, 180g presents an exceptional collection of jazz-funk / rare groove tunes recorded in the mid-seventies at the Nippon Columbia studios by three giants of Japanese music: arranger Kiyoshi Yamaya, koto legend Toshiko Yonekawa and shakuhachi master Kifu Mitsuhashi.
Born in 1932 in Tokyo, Kiyoshi Yamaya started his musical career in 1953 when he played in various jazz bands in town. In 1957, Yamaya joined Nobuo Hara's famous jazz big band Sharps & Flats as a baritone saxophone player and started composing, arranging, and recording for them and other big bands. He became a key jazz figure in Japan in the sixties together with Norio Maeda and Keitaro Miho, both jazz pianists, composers and arrangers, by forming the Modern Jazz Three Association – which aimed at improving the level of Japanese jazz composition and arrangement. In the mid-seventies, his Contemporary Sound Orchestra explored jazz-funk fusions with traditional Japanese melodies and instruments such as the shakuhachi, koto, biwa, and shamisen. These works were recorded for a series of panoramic Japanese albums released domestically on Denon and Nippon Columbia, from which the tracks on this compilation are taken from.