Fourth (Remaster)

SKU: 82876872912
Label:
Sony
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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Remastered edition with new liner notes and photos. There isn't any on the planet that knows more about Soft Machine than Steve Feigenbaum. He's very old. When he was 37 years old he went to the Fillmore East to see the band play with Hendrix. It changed his life and he's dressed funny ever since. Perhaps he would dress funny anyway, I don't know for sure. I do know that he loves Soft Machine's fourth album more than he loves sex (or so his wife has told me). Here is what he has to say abou this classic disc:


"For some reason, I think Four has always been the overlooked Soft Machine album. There's probably several reasons for this but that doesn't change the fact that I think that this is tied with Volume Two as their greatest album ever! The tunes were getting more and more complex and astonishing: Mike Ratledge contributed what I consider the band's greatest work ever in the 10 minute long Teeth, while Hugh Hopper was also reaching a peak compositionally. Elton Dean showed the direction that he wanted to go with his free-but-charming contributions and while Robert Wyatt didn't contribute any tunes (or even any vocals - probably one of the reasons that this album is overlooked), his playing, like all the others, was exemplary here. In addition to the great tunes and the great playing from the four members, a number of additional musicians (Marc Charig, Roy Babbington, Alan Skidmore, Nick Evans) appear as guests, adding some great ensemble color. Lastly, but also very importantly, this was always a really good sounding album and it sounds great here too in this remastered version. Utterly essential, important and innovative jazz/rock from when there were no rules to this sound which was being newly invented while they made it!!"

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  • Saw this band perform a couple of months ago and it was an incendiary set.  Goat are a Swedish psychedelic collective.  Their music is incredibly intense that has an African tribal feel - sort of like Black Sabbath meets Fela Kuti.  Twin guitar leads entwine over a propulsive and hypnotic rhythm section.  The band's two female vocalists sing in unison.  Washed in a sea of reverb their voices come across as one.  Love the beautiful fuzzed out guitar leads that juxtapose with the crystalline solos.  This is not late night listening.  This is invite your friends over, fire up a big phatty, and trance out.    BUY OR DIE!"When approaching the follow-up to a record as unilaterally praised and, on a personal level, so intoxicatingly enjoyable as Goat's 2012 debut World Music, all kinds of anxieties are inevitably thrown up regarding the new work's comparative merit. Which is why for this writer, on hearing how the psych journeymen chose to open their latest record Commune – with the ominous clang of a temple bell (like a theological inversion of the opener on Black Sabbath's debut) – it felt oddly apt, fateful almost. It was as if they knew I was scared to listen to the record; they responded by scaring me further with ecclesiastical percussion instruments.Goat should be given full credit for inspiring this sense of meaning and excitement; the album that follows is no stylistic leap forward for the band, yet it still exercises a deeply persuasive power over your head and hips. They largely stick to the heavy, kinetic, afro-influenced rock that proved such a winning formula, the only obvious developments being that the guitarists seem to be taking more cues from desert-rockers like Tamikrest and Tinariwen, and the songs show an increasing preference for subtlety over immediacy in the hooks department. Yet despite the apparent lack of new ideas here, the undeniable success of this work lies in Goat's deepening and development of the musical and spiritual themes presented on in World Music.And I'd go as far as to argue that Commune is very much a spiritually informed record. Whilst Goat hinted at a certain kind of gently cosmic, communal worldview via the obscure vocal samples on their debut, on this record their spiritual statement feels much more pronounced. Not only can this be seen in the song titles (opener 'Talk To God', 'The Light Within') and the appearance of more vocal samples ("There is only one meaning of life, and that is to be a positive force in the constant creation of evolution" – woah there!), but it's also evident in the production. Instruments are slathered in embalming-chamber reverb, ritualistic hand percussion is laced through almost every track, and the more laidback atmosphere means that instead of getting party-starting booty-shakers like 'Run To Your Mama' we get absorbing, contemplative grooves like the headspinning rhythms of 'Hide From The Sun' and 'Bondye', an instrumental track named after a voodoo deity which realises the trance-inducing implications of repetition. When Goat first emerged listeners may have been unsure about the sincerity of their transcendental allusions, and I for one suspected that their flirting with hippy ideologies was a self-conscious part of their selling point. However, with Commune, I'm now convinced this band genuinely have something to say. On tracks like 'Goatslaves' for example, you can actually make out quite easily what the vocalists are singing, and the message is direct: "Too many people living on their knees", yell the female voices over a stern, militant beat. 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Nestling stylistically in a place between Omar Khorshid and Tony Iommi, it rips mercilessly through the track's disorienting metre, and may well encourage listeners to stare into the distance with a purposeful look on their face. Fans will be glad to hear that there are plenty more of those moments to be had with this album – see the taut, fidgety funk of 'The Light Within' and the pleasantly pastoral flute on 'To Travel The Path Unknown' amongst others.Goat stand out from the rest of the contemporary psych crowd as an undeniably modern, internet-age band in that they create their own successful and popular sound by synthesising a plethora of B-musics and fringe influences made easily available through the work of labels like Finders Keepers and Sublime Frequencies. Yet Commune is so much more than record-collector rock. Album closer 'Gathering Of The Ancient Tribes', in a stylistic echo of the first track 'Talk To God' features a lattice of Malian-sounding guitars offset against heavy bass and insistent beats, before dissipating into a haze of guitar noise, organ drone and that same meddlesome temple bell. It's details like this that prove Goat are clearly concerned with more than flogging a tasteful blend of trendy influences – Commune is a truly artistic statement." - THE QUIETUS 
    $14.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hardly be called fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.I don't know what the back story is on this album but it has to be a funny one.  Easily by far the most out of place release to have come out on Three Blind Mice.  As far as I can tell its the only progressive rock album to have been released by the label.  The cover art would make you think of some weird Japanese pop band but it couldn't be further from that.  Jimmy, Yoko & Shin consists of Jimmy Shironaga (acoustic guitar, electric bass, and vocal), Yoko Sumiya (electric keyboards), and Shin Okabe (drums/percussion).  Apparently they won first prize in the Japanese Jazz Grand Prix.  Perhaps the prize was a record deal with TBM?The album consists of three tracks - one of which is only 3 minutes long.  Large parts of the album sound like outtakes from the first Emerson Lake & Palmer album with an injection of Canterbury.  Interspersed vocals are in Japanese and are based on 1000 year old Japanese literature (as if we would know the difference!).  The whole craziness is sewn together with the wonderful audiophile production that we expect from Three Blind Mice.  Highly recommended.
    $29.00
  • Let me preface my observations of the CTTE remix by saying that I don’t put these classic albums on a pedestal.  If they can be sonically improved while remaining faithful to the original mix and maintaining musicality and the emotional content then I’m all for it.  In general I liked what Steven Wilson did with the King Crimson catalog.  I was particularly impressed by his reconstruction and resurrection of Lizard.  When I heard he was tackling the Yes catalog I was hopeful because if there was ever a band that could use some sonic wizardry its Yes.  Eddy Offord was never able to bring the magic to their mixes that he was able to give to ELP.So how did Steven Wilson do with CTTE?  I can only use one word to describe the new mix: “transformative”.  CTTE was an album cobbled together from various bits and pieces.  Its widely acknowledged to be the band’s best album (its certainly my opinion) but in terms of sonics it fell victim to the “too many cooks” syndrome.  The original mix was a bit of a mess.  Its all changed now.The one thing that is immediately apparent is the foundation provided by Chris Squire’s bass.  It reaches the pits of hell and if Mr. Wilson is going to take this approach with TFTO and Relayer he’s got my vote.  In general there is a veil of schmutz that has been wiped away.  All the instruments have more clarity and focus in the soundstage.  “I Get Up I Get Down” was chilling.  I found the soundstage consistently extended beyond the boundaries of my speakers.  The mix is warm, involving and there is a balance among the instruments that I found lacking in the original mix - primarily because of Squire’s bass being given a shot of adrenaline.  Jaw dropping stuff.  The bonus track of “America” had exceptional, dare I say audiophile sound.So the obvious question is - what sounds better - this mix or the SACD?  I dunno.  I can’t find my bloody SACD to compare…but here is my memory of the SACD.  When I got it I played it through.  It didn’t overwhelm me or disappoint me.  My thought was “its fine...it is what it is - this is the best it will ever sound in the digital domain”.  I was wrong.  BUY OR DIE!  FORMAT: 1 x CD/1 x Blu-RayCD:1  Close to the Edge2  And You And I3  Siberian KhatruBonus Tracks:4  America5  Close to the EdgeBlu-Ray:Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio– Album mixed in 5.1 Surround– New Album mix– Original Album  mix (flat transfer)– New Album mix (instrumental version)– America original, new & instrumental stereo mixes & 5.1 Surround + further audio extras some exclusive to Blu-Ray edition• Close to the Edge is the first in a series of remixed & expanded Yes Classics• The classic album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) & is fully approved by Yes.• CD features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson• CD also features a new mix of America• CD also features an early mix/assembly of Close to the Edge• Blu-Ray features 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround (24bit/96khz) mixed from the original multi-channel recordings.• Blu-Ray features the new stereo album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio (24bit/96khz).• Blu-Ray also features the original album mix & America in a DTS-HD Master Audio flat transfers from the original master tape source. (24bit/192khz)• Blu-Ray exclusively features instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).• Blu-Ray also exclusively features a needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.• Numerous audio extras appear in high-resolution stereo including single edits & studio run throughs of album tracks• Original artwork by Roger Dean who has also overseen the artwork for this new edition• Presented as a mini vinyl replica gatefold card sleeve with booklet containing new sleeve notes, rare photos & archive material.“Close to the Edge” is the first in a series of expanded Yes editions including 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes & High-Resolution stereo mixes of the original music along with a wealth of extra material. Acclaimed musician/producer Steven Wilson has produced the new mixes with the approval of the band, while Roger Dean reprises his role as art director/designer of the newly issued edition, making this the definitive edition of the album.When Yes entered the studio with Eddie Offord to record the band’s fifth studio album in mid-1972, their second with this line-up, the band was on something of a roll. “Fragile”, the band’s previous album, had taken Yes to a new level of international popularity with Top Ten chart placement on both sides of the Atlantic & yielding a hit single in the USA with ‘Roundabout’. The band was now established in the major music markets to an extent that was, perhaps, unexpected given the complexity of the music Yes performed. But with that popularity came a confidence that the expansive material of the two previous albums could be taken a stage further with the new recording. Rather than consolidating, Yes chose to innovate.Recorded during lengthy sessions at London’s Advision Studios, “Close to the Edge” is that rarity in recorded music, the sound of a band & its individual members writing, playing and recording at the peak of their collective abilities. The album was issued in Autumn 1972 reaching chart highs & platinum sales status of  4 in the UK, 3 in the USA & 1 in Holland, though such statistics only hint at the worldwide popularity of the album over a period of more than four decades. The three pieces of music, the title track which spanned the entire first side of the vinyl album with ‘And You And I’ & ‘Siberian Khatru’ on side two, have remained concert favourites since release, with the 2013 Yes line-up currently in the middle of a world tour stretching into the middle of next year that sees the album performed in its entirety.The album remains the favourite among many of the band’s legion of fans, a defining recording both for the band & for the progressive rock movement. It is also one of the most successful British rock albums ever released.Since this release of “Close to the Edge” was confirmed, the various websites dedicated to Yes, Progressive rock & high-resolution audio have been very active with discussions among fans keen to hear the new mixes & the existing material in its purest audio presentation. 
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  • "A more ruminative effort than Sanguine Hum’s well-regarded 2010 debut, The Weight of the World is post-prog in both the most “post” and the most “prog” sense of the words.Recorded at Evolution studios in Oxford, The Weight of the World finds Joff Winks, Matt Baber, Brad Waissman and Andrew Booker absorbing, and then brilliantly modifying, some of the best of what’s come before, imbuing The Weight of the World with the impressive gravitas of very familiar antecedent influences.For instance, dreamscape reminiscences associated with Radiohead (“System For Solution”) find a home here. There are whispers of Steven Wilson (“From The Ground Up”), too. You’ll recall the wonders of Gentle Giant (“Phosfor”), and the mesmerizing sound collages of Boards of Canada (“Day of Release”), as well. Yet, on free-form, ambient-meets-jazz-meets-math rock moments like “In Code,” Sanguine Hum never sounds like anything so much as itself.That holds true even when the band swerves into the murkier waters of epic songcraft, though — like much of this project — the title track takes shape slowly, or at least more slowly than Diving Bell. As it does, however, there is a lot to recommend about The Weight of the World — so much that reveals itself, so much that rewards repeated listenings.Even as its most complex, Sanguine Hum retains an approachability that steers these proceedings well away from any polyester-era excesses. In other words, The Weight of the World remains all proggy, but also all post-y — in the very smartest of ways." - Something Else! Reviews
    $15.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hardly be called fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.George Otsuka is a very well known jazz drummer in Japan.  This is a hot set he recorded in 1976 for Three Blind Mice.  The album consists of 4 long tracks.  The lineup consists of Fender Rhodes, soprano and tenor sax, bass, drums, and percussion.  Some beautiful mellow parts that explode into high energy modal jazz with some freaky keyboard sounds.  This is a stunning recording that exemplifies the Three Blind Mice sound.  
    $29.00
  • This is what the ancient bearded one has to say:"Morgan Ågren is one of the great drummers of our time. Best known for his work with Mats/Morgan Band, he's also a fine composer and musical thinker.Since the mid 2000s, one of his interests have been to combine the intense jazz/rock stylings of the Mats/Morgan's earlier work with more contemporary technology, stylings and sounds (think 'beats' and 'electronica'); while those words might scare some folks reading this away, if you liked the sound of "Thanks For Flying With Us" and "[schack tati]", you've heard what I am talking about.He's been working on this album for the last number of years and it's very much a companion to "[schack tati]" stylistically, some of it completely solo (but not solo drums by any means) and some of it with Mats, as well as Devin Townsend, Fredrik Thordendal, Jimmy Ågren, Simon Steensland and others. Highly recommended! Released only in Japan, in a elegant, mini-lp sleeve!"
    $20.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hardly be called fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.This was actually the very first release from the Three Blind Mice label back in 1972.  It is also the first album from alto/soprano saxophonist Kosuke Mine.  He had previously played with the great Masabumi Kikuchi but this was his first recordings in which he led his own ensemble.  The quintet also included the amazing Takahask Mizuhashi on bass, Hideo Ichikawa on electric piano, Takashi Imai on trombone, and Hiroshi Murakami on drums.  The album consists of 4 long modal jazz explorations filled with some incredible soloing.  A stunning album that will take you to another dimension. 
    $29.00
  • When the vinyl came in I proclaimed this as one of the frontrunners for album of the year and nothing has changed since.  Stunning album.Agusa is an instrumental quartet from Sweden.  The band is derived from members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot.  This is a VERY retro sounding album that will appeal to fans of Kebnekajse, Pink Floyd, and perhaps even Anglagard.  No symphonic elements - just straight up organ, guitar, bass, and drums ripping it up over four long tracks.  Very dynamic sounds going on - shimmering echoey guitar leads that will remind you of Kenny Håkanson or Achim Reichel battling it out with undercurrents of organ that erupt into solos.  Overarching the music is a mystical psychedelic vibe - like this whole thing was cooked up in an Arab hashish den.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.This Three Blind Mice set dates back to 1972.  The session is led by guitarist Sunao Wada and he performs here in quartet and sextet configurations.  The material varies – some of it is very blues based and others are straight ahead bop that will remind you a bit of what Pat Martino was doing at the time.  Wada is backed but some of the elite musicians from the TBM stable.  If you like jazz guitar you need to check this one out.
    $29.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.This was Masaru Imada’s first album for Three Blind Mice and only the second release for the label.  Its an all acoustic album – not like Green Caterpillar.  The music consists of four beautiful modal jazz pieces.  It has long been an audiophile reference album.  The music is stunning and you can also dazzle your friends with the sound.“Side 1 gets us under way in languid late-night mood, with Nostalgia, a stately ballad that gives Mimori a chance to open up on tenor. Next up is Alter, which opens with the spotlight on Ozu and Mizuhashi before developing into free exploration with plenty more good work by Mimori. But it's Side 2 that really delivers, two fantastic tracks, the mighty modal Gehi Dorian, which really cuts loose with a righteous groove. To close Imada and his crew dial it back a bit, and go out in lyrical style with The Shadow.”- Barbara Sounds blog 
    $29.00