1981 (3LP)

Regular price $88.95

With J Jazz volume 4, the BBE J Jazz Bullet Train continues its journey traversing the expansive landscape of modern Japanese jazz. Volume 4 is the latest in the universally praised compilation series exploring the best, rarest and most innovative jazz to emerge from the Far East. Please take your seats for a first-class ticket to J Jazz central.

This latest station stop off is with the famed Nippon Columbia label, one of the biggest labels in Japan, whose jazz output embraces every possible style imaginable. Focussing on the key years 1968-1981, J Jazz volume 4 sees compilers Tony Higgins and Mike Peden dig even deeper into their record collections and pull-out tracks that span styles ranging from solo to big band, jazz classical interpretations and heavy jazz rock, to febrile post-bop, white hot samba fusion, and modal psychedelic wig-outs.

J Jazz volume 4 features icons such as drum master Takeo Moriyama, keyboard magi Hiromasa Suzuki, Fumio Itabashi, and Masahiko Satoh, and guitar wizards Kazumi Watanabe and Kiyoshi Sugimoto, alongside big band maestros and innovators Nobuo Hara and his Sharps and Flats, and Toshiyuki Miyama’s New Herd. Thunderous basslines nestle alongside glistening runs of electric piano, bubbling synths and air-tight drumming as the heavy psychedelic modal blues of Jiro Inagaki flows with the infectious samba grooves of Takashi Mizuhashi featuring Herbie Hancock; Shigeharu Mukai’s fusion funk epics take the music to another level and Mikio Masuda’s driving keyboard rhythms brings the heat to an incendiary dancefloor zone.

With 7,000 words of extensive sleeve notes, J Jazz vol 4 comes in a triple 180g vinyl set inside a deluxe gatefold sleeve with obi strip plus a 4 page insert. The double CD features two bonus tracks not on the vinyl edition. Mastered at the Grammy-nominated Carvery Studio by Frank Merritt, this latest collection is a worthy successor to the preceding three volumes that have set the bar so high.

J Jazz is curated for BBE Music by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden.


1. Exchange – Takeo Moriyama
2. The Ground For Peace – Jiro Inagaki & His Soul Media
3. Chakkiri Bushi – Nobuo Hara and his Sharps & Flats, Hozan Yamamoto
4. Trial Road – Tomoki Takahashi
5. A Muddy Muffin – Masahiko Sato
6. Samba de Negrito – Takashi Mizuhashi & Herbie Hancock
7. Scramble – Hiromasa Suzuki
9. Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun – Nobuo Hara and His Sharps & Flats
10. Jones Street – Kiyoshi Sugimoto
11. By The Red Stream – Hiromasa Suzuki, Jiro Inagaki & Big Soul Media
12. Kaleidoscope (Edit) – Mickie Yoshino & Kazumi Watanabe
13. Ougi Denju-shiki – Toshiyuki Miyama and His New Herd
14. Toppu – Shigeharu Mukai
15. Mickey’s Samba – Mikio Masuda