Motohiko Hamase: "Reminiscence" LP
Remiscencescores a decent prize at online vinyl-selling platforms and it is worth every penny! It's a perfect "refuge from nasty reality", as the glorious British 20jazzfunkgreats blog once said. And it comes from a man that knows his trade: bass playing. An artisan on his instrument, Hamase also wrote many theoretical books in his more than four decades-long career. In the 1970's Hamase was no stranger to Tokyo's vibrant jazz scene. Together with jazz pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto and jazz-rock guitarist Kazumi Watanabe, he played in the Isao Suzukisextet and was part of their landmark jazz-funk album Ako's Dream (1976). In the following years, he also played on records like Mikio Masuda's Latin-funk-jazz gem Moon Stone (1978) or Japanese female jazz singer, actress, and essayist Minami Yasuda's last album Moritato (1978). In the early 1980s, his work shifted from pure jazz to electronic and ambient spheres and he started to compose his own music around his deeply emotional bass playing. From 1985 to 1993, Hamase released five solo albums. Just recently Studio Mule issued his first one, Intaglio (STUDIOMUL 008CD/LP, 2018), in a new recording that sounds as stunning as the original release from 1986. Reminiscence is his second work for the celebrated defunct Japanese New Age record label Shi Zen, follows in a fresh shape on Studio Mule. As does the original, it features deeply touching moments of sheer pristine perfection and distributes Hamase's inner emotional landscape with a bewitching bass performance. A soothing beauty of an album, it reflects Hamase's search for spaces of melancholy, a rhizome of soundscapes that capture, settle and sound elusive while simultaneously being awe-inspiring. As with Intaglio, the 66-year-old artist gathered again some befriended musicians, rented a studio, staged his gear and recorded most of the original Reminiscence material anew, while keeping the moving musical story arc of the original album alive in a fresh wrapping. The result is a dazzling, blue mood seething, a strongly hypnotic long-player, full of personality and hybrid ambient electronic jazz spheres that open doors to unheard sound universes and that perfectly work for all those stress-relieved souls that love the disclosure of the mind and seek for a "refuge from nasty reality".
Label: Studio Mule
Release Date: 11/16/2018
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