Tone Deaf Records

New - Maeda & All-Stars, Norio - Rock Communication Yagibushi - LP

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Wewantsounds announces the reissue of Norio Maeda's cult classic Rock Communication Yagibushi, released in Japan in 1970. The album has since become a Japanese jazz funk cornerstone and is now highly sought-after on the international DJ scene. The album reinterprets 14 traditional Japanese folk songs into jaw-dropping jazz funk instrumentals featuring killer arrangements by Maeda that would fit perfectly between David Axelrod and Lalo Schifrin. One of the most prolific Nippon arrangers, Norio Maeda on a par with Yuji Ohno and Kentaro Haneda and this album has long been on many collectors' wantlist. Rock Communication Yagibushi is reissued internationally for the first time, with newly remastered audio, original gatefold artwork and new liner notes by Paul Bowler. Norio Maeda was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1934 and learnt to read music from an early age thanks to his father. He was largely self-taught on piano and quickly got into jazz, before moving to Tokyo in the mid '50s to immerse himself in the city's thriving jazz scene. There Maeda started his own group before joining The West Liners led by saxophonist Konosuke Saijo as pianist and arranger in 1959. Maeda arranged many pop and jazz albums by the likes of Nobuo Hara, Terumasa Hino, jazz singer Mieko Irota and, in 1969, he released the album This is Jazz Rock with saxophonist Jiro Inagaki, reinterpreting international pop, jazz and soul hits with groove arrangements which would pave the way for Rock Communication Yagibushi a year later. For the album, Maeda used two lineups -- a reduced one comprising Takeshi Inomata on drums, Shigeo Suzuki on sax and flute, Kiyoshi Sugimoto on guitar, and Tetsuo Fushimi on trumpet -- and an extended one adding three trumpets, four trombones and a different drummer, Takahiro Suzuki. The album is an explosive succession of instrumental funk and breakbeat nuggets that are reminiscent of David Axelrod with shades of Italian cinematic groove adding a Japanese twist to the mix. It's hard to pick a favorite track as Norio Maeda hits the mark every time and manages to display many fascinating shades of funk throughout the album. One of the most coveted Japanese classics on the international diggers scene, Rock Communication Yagibushi is finally available internationally and will please Japanese jazz funk's many fans.