Wednesday, September 19

Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union - Black Pearl

Black pearl
Speak like a child

Life is more precious than diamonds
With the force of nature
Soul eyes

Produced by Conrad Silvert for Zen Records
Recorded on September 23-26th, 1980 at The Automat studio - San Francisco.

With :
Yoshifumi Tada (tp)
Tsuneo Takeda (tp)
Kiyoshi Ohsaka (tp, fh)
Nobuo Katoh (tp, fh)
Kenji Nishiyama (tb)
Osamu Matsumoto (tb)
Tatsuroh Matsubayashi (tb)
Michiharu Yamazaki (tb)
Tatsuya Takahashi (sax, fl, cl)
Keiji Mori (sax,fl)
Hiroshi Yaginuma (sax, fl, cl)
Norio Moriguchi (sax, fl, cl)
Kenichi Tada ( sax, cl)
Masahiro Kanayama (p)
Atsuo Wada (b)
Hideki Nakamura (dr)
Hidetoshi Kaeano (g)
Hiroyuki Ohkubo (g)
Herbie Hancock (p)
Slide Hampton (tb)
Richie Cole (sax)

I have never been a fan of jazz big bands, those noisy and overcrowded orchestras, but this one is different.
This only-Japanese album has been recorded in 1980 ; it has received the valuable help of Herbie Hancock (and Slide Hampton too), which is giving to the main title track the required amount of funkiness.
The well-named Black Pearl tune is a 8 minutes jazz-funk killer which starts with a nice slapped bass line.
It is a perfect combination of the powerful horn section (which sounds a bit like the '76 Horny Horns) of the orchestra and the elegant-laid-back-funky-style of Herbie Hancock.
The rest of the album is less interesting from a "funkateer point of vue", but may fully satisfy any jazz enthusiast.
Amazingly, this record is not so hard to find for a fair price of $20 or even less !

Audio sample