Jizue’s sophomore album Journal is an impressive extension of their debut, Novel, with the same fast-paced jazz and post rock groove that characterizes their sound, but with decidedly more complexity this time around. It’s obvious they’ve been spending some serious practice time together exploring new musical avenues to forge these songs.

“Dance” perhaps offers the strongest evidence of that, with lively Latino beats and hooks that briefly morph into softer lounge jazz toward the middle. The unusual movement works. The song is a nice change from the previous three that are standard Jizue with rich piano harmonies and guitar that sounds, at times, like Pat Metheny.

The sixth track, “eat faker”, is surprisingly a House Music tune that almost seems to act as an intermission, as if this were a live show and the 2nd half of the album is the 2nd set. And a more varied one it is, with upbeat jazz tune “5” and another surprise on the track “life” after that: lovely vocals from artist YeYe. “Holiday” follows with violin care of Hiraku from kindred instrumental band Nabowa. The album goes on sale June 5th.



6曲目の”eat faker”という曲はガラリと雰囲気が変わって何とハウス・ミュージック的なアレンジになっているために、あたかもこの曲を挟んで1部と2部に分かれているような印象を与えている。アルバム後半はさらにバラエティーに富んでいて、”5”は明るいジャズナンバー、続く”life”は女性シンガーソングライターYeYeの陽気なボーカルをフィーチャーしている。続く”Holiday”はインストバンドNabowaのバイオリニスト山本啓のプレイが聴きものだ。6/5発売。

Blktop Project

You know that when two great musicians like Tommy Guerrero and Ray Barbee come together, you are probably going to get something magical. Sure enough, the duo who lead Blktop Project have produced just that with their most recent album Lane Change. It’s actually several years old but we feature it because of their participation in Greenroom Festival this year.

The two share a similar style of music, marked by Latino influences and grooves that bring to mind Santana and San Francisco. It’s infectious, head-bobbing instrumental music marked by relative simplicity of phrase and clear-ringing notes. Thankfully, neither artist dominates the other, creating a satisfying blend of great guitar and bass work backed by able percussionists. Who ever would have imaged that two of history’s greatest skateboarders would grow up and collaborate on something so accomplished?

Highlights include “Bockrossa”, which would make Santana smile—an obvious tribute in its tones. “Pedro’s Fever” has a feverish little guitar lick DJs the world over will want to sample. But all the songs are good, averaging around 3 minutes of packed pleasure, leaving the question: when’s the next album, guys?!

トミー・ゲレロとレイ・バービー。この二人が一緒に音楽を作ったら何かとても魅力的なものが出来上がりそうだと思わない?アメリカのスケートボード・シーンのスーパースター達が集結したバンド、Blktop Project(ブラックトップ・プロジェクト)を率いるこの二人が出したアルバムLane Changeは実に素晴らしい内容だった。リリースから何年か経ってはいるが、今年のグリーンルーム・フェスティバルにも参加した彼らのこのアルバムを改めて聴いてみた。


”Bockrossa”はサンタナが聞いたらニヤリとしそうな曲。そのギタートーンからサンタナを意識していることがはっきりと分かる。”Pedro’s Fever”の熱いギターリックは、世界中のDJたちがサンプリングしたがるのではないだろうか。それら以外の曲も粒が揃っており、どれも3分前後というコンパクトさの中に面白味が凝縮されている。早くニューアルバムを聴きたい、そう思わずにはいられない。

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