Check out the hottest Japanese jazz import coming from one-half of the nujazz/broken beat collective Kyoto Jazz Massive (KJM). Kyoto Jazz Sextet is the lastest brainchild of Shuya Okino, who along with his brother Yoshihiro Okino formed Kyoto Jazz Massive (KJM) to become two of the most sought after DJs/producers/remixers throughout the 90s and into the 2000s.
While brother Yoshihiro Okino kept himself busy DJing and running his record label and store Especial Records, his brother Shuya Okino kept himself busy producing this fantastic Kyoto Jazz Sextet album “Mission.” Shuya pulled together several of Japan’s finest musicians to turn out this massive recording for the Blue Note Japan label. Our North American friends may not have heard about this fine jazz release due to it being a Japanese only release (at the moment) as well as the promotional material language barrier on the Internet. But take one listen to “Mission” and the jazz will tear down any and all barriers. Since it’s a Japanese import we might have to pay a little extra for it but that’s ok too. This album is worth every extra penny spent!
“Mission” recalls the genius of 60s Blue Note when greats like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard brought a fluid hard-bop balance to the label. The Kyoto Jazz Sextet is not so focused on playing straight covers of the Blue Note classics they chose to record, but rather playing them in a refreshing mode that pays the utmost respect to the greats, the compositions and the Blue Note label. They handle the material exquisitely and with care. All we can hope for now is a North American Blue Note release but preview the album below and you just might end up paying the extra import price for this fine recording. Basically it’s a cooker and it’s pretty irresistible!