May 22, 2011

sleep walker - the voyage

barabara sounds sez:
There was one more track that Pharoah Sanders laid down on that same 2003 visit to Tokyo when he recorded The Creator Has A Master Plan. He sat in as a guest with the hot club-jazz combo Sleep Walker. It came out as a single in 2004, and later became the title track of their next album, The Voyage (not released till 2006). Anyway, that's my inspiration for posting it here and now
but it's certainly not the only reason. The whole album grooves and soars just beautifully, with track 6, Kaze (= 'Wind') another stand-out. Don't believe me, ask Dusty...

Brilliant brilliant work by Sleep Walker – a soaring, soulful album of spiritual jazz – one that we'd rank right up there with our favorites from the era of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders on Impulse Records! The vibe here is incredible – jazz played live on tenor, soprano sax, piano, bass, and drums – spinning out in modal lines that groove tremendously, but not with any tricks or gimmicks that get in the way of genuine jazz expression. Sleep Walker are easily one of the deepest and most talented combos of the current club jazz scene – and their music never resorts to fake samples or heavy-handed rhythms to move the tunes along – just glows in the genius of its own bright light, spreading forth in waves of soul and sound that are tremendous from the first note of the album to the last!

中村 雅人
吉澤 はじめ Yoshizawa Hajime piano; 杉本 智和 Sugimoto Tomokazu bass; 藤井 伸昭 Fujii Nobuaki d

Ai-No-Tabi; Into The Sun; The Southern Cross; Afloat; Lost in Blue; Kaze; Reminiscence; The Voyage

• As UK friends may know, Sleepwalker played alongside Pharoah at the Jazz Cafe in London in late 2003. He came back to Japan again in 2006 and played with them at the outdoor Metamorphose festival.

• There's an interesting fragment of a beyondjazz interview with Okino Shinya (Kyoto Jazz Massive; produced Sleepwalker) on angelfire's Pharoah discography:
When we knew Pharoah was coming to Japan, we offered this recording to his management. But we got the answer (ok) 4 days before the day for recording. Sleep Walker made a song for this recording during this 4 days. Every member stayed at Hajime's house. When recording, Pharoah asked us the image of this song. Hajime answered that this image is the feeling from father and children met again after long time no seeing. So we decided to call this song "Chichi to ko" (it means "Father and children" in English). When Masa played tenor sax, Pharoah shouted "Masa"! It was very impressing. And when Pharoah started his solo, I couldn't stop crying. It was so beautiful! Our dreams came true..."

• And check out this clip (posted by tokyojazznotes) of Pharoah with Sleepwalker from 2006 (also ft. Bembe Segue and Yukimi Nagano). It's hard to actually hear the sax at all, what with all the noise from the floor every time he steps up to play, but it's a great nugget... [btw the track is You've Got To Have Freedom]

The Voyage was first posted in the blogosphere by Bacoso on the ever-essential Orgy in Rhythm – and it's still up in the archives there. But just in case anyone's slept [or should that be sleepwalked?] on it, here it is again (with full scans of that modern classic album art...)


Anonymous said...

feel free to drop a comment before setting off on this "brilliant brilliant" voyage...


Flash Strap said...

Thanks a bundle, fellow. This looks to be a winner.

Anonymous said...

haven't seen you on the blogoshere in a while..thanks for the posts..i used to see pharoah at the vanguard in the 70's..i kinda like the mellower we age together

taro nombei said...

@ Flash Strap
you're welcome.

taro nombei said...

@ anon
I'm with you on that: it is hard to keep up that intensity — for both musician and listener — as the years pass :-)

thanks for the comment — and yes, we have been a bit 'preoccupied' here in Japan in recent months...

freebones said...

that good, eh? well i will have to check it out. many thanks, as always!

Andy said...

Thank you. I don't know much about Japanese jazz musicians. Thanks for the recommendation, this is very tasty. I'll be back for more. Great blog.

taro nombei said...

@ Andy
You're welcome!
Have a look around and help yourself :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Barbara - never heard of this, but sound very good. John H

Anonymous said...

Thanks Taro. Never heard of this, but sounds the business. John H