BEST NEW REISSUE: Tohru Aizawa Quartet – Philosopher’s Stone

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IS: BBE Records Soundcloud

More outstanding Japanese jazz from BBE Records (audio)


So it seems as though BBE’s absolutely brilliant compilation of rare Japanese jazz entitled J Jazz might have just been a precursor to many more great things to come, as it looks like the label might start reissuing albums from artists that we’re featured on the compilation. Enter Tohru Aizawa Quartet’s Tachibana Vol. 1; an obscure, one-off Japanese jazz album that according to Discogs, fetches for quite a pretty penny. But thanks to BBE, you’ll be able to listen to at a far more reasonable price. And if this track featured from the album is anything to go by, it’s definitely sounding like another essential purchase in my book.

Just like the song off of the aforementioned compilation, “Philosopher’s Stone” is an exciting piece of post-bop jazz that sounds expertly played and arranged, yet also almost amateur at the same time. Given the insanely fast tempo of this song, it’s not surprising that it sounds like some of the musicians are struggling to keep up with each other. But I would argue that it really adds to the charm of this song; as this song is just bursting with creative energy, with it’s positively out of control drumming, wild sax solo, and borderline experimental, percussive piano playing. And that’s just the musicians themselves; the song itself has numerous left turns, peaks and cool downs that make for one absolutely wild ride of a track. Definitely not jazz for the faint of heart but that damn sure makes for an entertaining listen. Needless to say, I need this record in my life.

Tohru Aizawa Quartet’s Tachibana Vol. 1 is available now on BBE Records.


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