Will the proggy wonders never cease??
Japanese jazz pianist and keyboardist. Born in Shizuoka in February 1945.
Very little to see here. But, oh dear, is there ever a lot to hear here on this beauty discovered by my friend, out of the random blue of online record stores, completely out of left field, so far left it's outta this galaxy and probably even out of this corner of the universe.
The first track (Overture) pretty much presents to you the high achievements here, the perfect mix of classical, fusion, and progressive rock influences from the likes of early ELP:
It recalls to me the Lofstrom Music album I posted before, but with a bit less finesse and more rocky ELP qualities-- which is a good thing of course. Or perhaps you could compare it with the Fumitaka Anzen album Juma Densetsu from 1981 so famed in prog circles. But to be honest and give the artist his due credit, this is brilliantly original in a way only a genius artist can accomplish, with a melding so perfect one wonders how he could have pulled it off without a lifetime of prog practice, rather than, historically, being a simple jazz pianist interpreting those stupid standards to the ends of time.
To quote my friend:
Hideo Ichikawa is one of the most famous jazz pianists in Japan. He tried to make a rock album for the first time in 1980. This is it.
It was inspired by a Japanese SF novel "Yousei Den." So to speak, it is an imaginary OST album.
He said in a interview "I listened to rock music albums for the first time since I was born to make this album."
Kohichi Hirai is a rock guitarist. The chemistry between the jazz pianist & the rock guitarist made this album a masterpiece.
Quite amazing. A masterpiece for sure. Hard to believe, in fact.
And as long as there's still music like this out there, undiscovered, uncharted, I promise to keep this up. Wish Tom could hear it.