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Blue Notes Orchestra
01 : On Reflection Listen
This piece was composed by most well-known Japanese
trombonist Shigeharu Mukai. Mukai's small combo original version was
arranged for four horn players. Ray Harada, the arranger for Hamamatsu
BLUE NOTES Orchestra, adapted this well established original harmony
to the orchestra version. The first solo starts with a trumpeter,
Tomonao Hara who appears on this recording as a guest artist. Hara's
performance was followed by soloists David Keech (Trombone), Satoshi Ozawa
(Alto Sax) and Junichi Fujimori (Piano). The friendship between Hara
and Hamamatsu BLUE NOTES Orchestra started during Hara's school days and
they have been performing together quite ofter after Hara's
02: White Cliff Listen
We featured Hiroyasu Abe to serenade the beautiful melody
line. Shinya Koseki follows with a lyrical piano solo. This ballad was
composed and arranged by well-established Swedish pianist Lars Jansson.
The friendship with Jansson began when he toured with his
piano trio and/or Bohuslan Big Band to Hamamatsu City. Jansson started
contributing his orchestrated scores to Hamamatsu BLUE NOTES Orchestra. In
2002, BLUE NOTES Orchestra performed this composition at YOTSUIKE,
MUSE in Hamamatsu City. On this concert, we featured a tenor
saxphonist Ove Ingemarsson from BohusleAn Big Band and Hiroyasu Abe
(Tenor Sax) received a strong inspiration from Ingemarsson.
03: Gone Gone Gone Listen
For the "Porgy and Bess" musical Gershwin composed many
tunes such as Summertime which can be played in jazz format, and this
"Gone Gone Gone" is also one of them. The hot solos were played by
David Keech (Trombone), Hiroyasu Abe (Tenor Sax) and Tomonao Hara
(Trumpet) in fast tempo. We also featured the drummer, Takanori Hinaiji who
has been performing with Hamamatsu BLUE NOTES Orchestra for 20
04: Sacred Listen
Again this ballad was composed by Lars Jansson. This trumpet sound was
created by Tomonao Hara and some can translate it to one's
"sacred" prayer just like angel Gabriel's trumpet. Junichi
Fujimori's beautiful piano solo and arrangement can be heard occasionally
between Hara's melody and improvisation.
05: Nutcracker Listen
This was a composition by Wayne Andre. Not many people in
Japan know him, but he is quite well-known studio trombonist in New
York. In the early 1980's Andre used to lead the four trombonists'
ensemble along with Conrad Herwig. This composition was recorded on
cassette tape which Andre sent to BLUE NOTES Orchestra. This might be a
first professional recording of "Nutcracker". On this track, we
used Michio Kagiwada's arrangement. Kagiwada is also a veteran
trombonist in the Japanese studio world. And Kagiwada used to featured
himself when he performed this composition. This time we feature David
Keech (Trombone), Kenji Hirano(Trombone), Hiroyasu Abe (Tenor
Sax) and Shinya Koseki (Piano). And at the ending, we can hear individual trombonists short solos
in order of Satoshi Nakatsugawa, Souichiro Fujishita, Kenji Hirano and
06 & 07: The City - Part 1, Part 2-Part3
Composer, Osamu Shiomura published this piece in 1979.
This composition "The City" consists of 4 suites however we used Part 1 to
Part 3 on this recording. Part 1 "Puppy Taking the Air" : A quiet
composition which lets us imagine the early morning dawn in the city.
On Shiomura's score, he featured flugel horn to lead the melody, however
we can hear Hideaki Tokunaga (Guitar) with his mellow solo. Part 2
"Diviner and Crowds" The unison line saxophone section created the
image of the city during rush hour. On this track we can hear wide variety
solos such as Takashi Kawakami (Trombone) who is good at mode and free
style performance, emotional player Naoyuki Onozawa (Alto Sax),
modern sound by Shinya Koseki (Electronic Piano), Hideaki Tokunaga
(Guitar) and Hiroyasu Abe (Tenor Sax). Part 3 "Scramble" By bassist,
Takahiro Okumura started playing the pattern with different tempo by
himself, and the composition transfered to bright samba feel. After
Hideaki Tokunaga's acoustic guitar solo and Shinya Koseki's (Electronic
Piano) tapping solo, the orchestra completed whole three part suites.
08: Time For a Change
When BLUE NOTES Orchestra toured in the USA, all members
attended Stan Kenton's music camp. At this music camp, members met
Kenton Orchestra's composer Hank Levy. Kenton Orchestra recorded this piece
on the album "Kenton '75". This piece was written in 9/4, however Levy
was good at writing many beautiful melodies on odd meter structures.
Therefore BLUE NOTES Orchestra have had many repertoire by Levy. The solo
was by Hiroyasu Abe (Tenor Sax).
09: Ictus Listen
The piece was written by Carla Bley. When Gil Evans toured
Japan in 70's with Japanese musicians such as Masabumi Kikuchi, he
performed the composition called "Hannibal" featuring Marvin Peterson.
On this composition, BLUE NOTES Orchestra wanted to create a
On this track we featured two trumpeters, Shuichi Sawada
who has been a member from the beginning and guest artist Tomonao Hara.
10: Swiss Suite
The composition was by Oliver Nelson, who was a great
saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader. Owed to Nelson's
individuality, we assume not many people have had a chance to listen to this
composition by anybody but Nelson's Band. However BLUE NOTES Orchestra
has been performing this composition at many jazz festivals since
Therefore many members feel nostalgic toward this
composition. Since the earlier stage of the BLUE NOTES Orchestra, we have
been featuring Eiji Neriki (Piano), Hisashi Kenmochi (Tenor Sax) and
Shuichi Sawada (Trumpet). We can also listen to their solos on this track
in addition to plunger mute trombone solo by Takashi Kawakami.
Tomonao Hara (Trumpet): He started playing jazz during
his college days and the friendship with BLUE NOTES Orchestra began.
After graduation, he became a professional artist. Most notable
performance was to be introduced on the Japanese TV series call
Because of his beautiful tone and powerful performance, he
is currently a most popular trumpet player in Japan. He can be heard
with many great jazz artists, and is actively performing not only in Japan
but also in Europe and USA.
Hideaki Tokunaga (Guitar): Born in Osaka, Japan. He moved
to New York in 1985 and moved again to Los Angeles in 1990. He
attended California Institute of the Arts and graduated with his masters
degree in Jazz in 1998. During his school years, he received the 18th Annual
Down Beat Jazz Magazine Award as the Best USA and Canada College
Jazz Soloist. He is performing in Los Angeles area and Japan.
GREETING by Band Leader
Hamamatsu BLUE NOTES Orchestra was formed in 1975 and this
year (2005) was our 30th aniversary year. Among the recordings we had
in recent years, we selected the pieces with these following
(1) compositions which have strong connection to us,
(2) compositions which might not have been performed by big bands so much and
(3) compositions which creates nostalgic feelings among orchestra members.
We did not follow a usual CD production with a strong theme. However
we hope that listeners can find favorite compositions and unknown great
performers. I also hope that this opportunity is the first step of our
continuous recordings and tours.I would like to thank the many previous band members who
returned to support this recording, special guests trumpeter Mr.Hara
and guitarist Mr.Tokunaga. To trombonist David Keech who performed with
us this two years in Hamamatsu and returned to London. Special thanks
to Mr.Hirano / Excutive Producer at YOTSUIKE, MUSE, who helped make
this project a reality.
Minoru Harada : Leader & Conductor
Order from outside Japan
Order in US : Cadence Music Sales
(further information : email@example.com (Hideaki Tokunaga) )
Order in UK : mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (David Keech)
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