BBE Music presents the seventh release in its highly acclaimed J Jazz Master Class Series: ‘Evolution’ by Shintaro Quintet. Recorded in 1984 and originally released on the private label Streetnoise Records, ‘Evolution’ is a perfect example of stately modal jazz with every one of its five tracks composed by band leader and bassist, Shintaro Nakamura.
A cut from the album, ‘A Blind Man’, was included on the BBE Music compilation ‘J Jazz – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984’, and it’s a track that’s indicative of the album’s graceful blend of spiritual jazz and gently swinging minor blues waltzes, a style favoured by Nakamura that allows the band to stretch out and explore the strong melodic themes, lush arrangements and seductive rhythms.
Recorded in New York, ‘Evolution’ features the great Japanese trumpet player Shunzo Ohno alongside a mixed Japanese-American band: pianist Jeff Jenkins, who brings a touch of McCoy Tyner’s percussive blues to the album, has worked with many jazz greats including Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris and Clark Terry; US-born Saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu, one- time member of Jack McDuff’s band has also recorded and performed with jazz guitarist Pat Martino; and drummer Fukushi Tainaka, who studied under Philly Joe Jones, completes the solid rhythm section with Nakamura and Jenkins.
‘Evolution’ is reissued as a double 45rpm 180g LP, cut by the Grammy-nominated Carvery Studio. The BBE Music edition features exact reproductions of the original artwork and super-rare diagonal obi strip. It also comes with the original notes fully translated plus a new extended essay and interview with band members by Tony Higgins. ‘Evolution’ is also available as a CD and across digital formats.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is personally curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese modern jazz. The series features rare material, presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised by the artists and labels.