Masaru Imada Trio + 1 :: Planets

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Masaru Imada Trio + 1 :: Planets

Yet another inspired ride in BBE’s masterclass series highlighting the golden age of modern Japanese jazz from the late 1960s – early 80s. Helmed and curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, this installment shines a light on the Masaru Imada Trio + 1 lp, Planets. Originally released in 1977 via private press, the seven track set finds pianist and bandleader Masaru Imada joined by bassist Kunimitsu Inaba and drummer Tetsujiro Obara, along with sympathetic percussion courtesy of Yuji Imamura.

Lockstep, the group’s approach is nimble, deft, and at times surprising in its execution. If the modal waltz of title track “Planets” leans into, say, Guaraldi, the 16+ minute atmospheric soundscape “Sea’s Pasture” bends in the opposite direction. Cinematic, roiling and expansive, the composite piece flirts with myriad moods as it skates knife-edge along the brink, never teetering.

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