PRE-ORDER ITEM : Released August 12th, 2022. The 2LP and CD will be shipped just before the official release date. Please note, any orders containing pre-order items won’t be shipped until all items are available, so please order this item separately to avoid delays.
BBE Music is proud to present the latest J Jazz Masterclass Series reissue, 1978 soul/jazz tour de force album ’Push’ by Noriko Miyamoto.
For the first time, this critically acclaimed series that delves deep into the history of Japanese Jazz will be releasing an album by a Japanese female singer, Noriko Miyamoto produced by one of the legendary figures in Japanese Jazz, Isao Suzuki.
The release of her incredible debut album, ‘Push’, coincided with a surge in popularity for local female jazz singers such Kimiko Kasai, Yasuko Agawa, etc. that crossed over into the pop market. It was originally released by the now-defunct label, Yupiteru Records in 1978. Since then, it has been reissued a few times in Japan but recently, along with a surge of worldwide interest in old Japanese music, ‘Push’ has been gaining a cult status among foreign music heads, with the price for an original pressing skyrocketing in the second hand record market. This reissue of ‘Push’ will be the first time ever that this album will be officially released worldwide.
Long before R&B music went onto enjoy mainstream success in Japan, a soul music and disco loving lady, Noriko Miyamoto who started her music career working as a dancer at the legendary Tokyo disco, ‘Mugen’, was inspired by Tina Turner’s performance there and decided to became a soul singer. It was at a time in the early 1970s when there were only a handful of female songstresses who sang soulfully in Japan. In 1977, Miyamoto was scouted by Isao Suzuki to join his band, Soul Family and subsequently, with their backing, he produced Push, an album that kickstarted her career. It is an album that exquisitely combines her jazzy and soulful vocals with Suzuki’s acoustic bass and precocious playing from his youthful and vibrant group at the time.
Along with Sadao Watanabe, Terumasa Hino, Masabumi Kikuchi and George Otsuka, bassist, cellist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer and band leader, Isao Suzuki was considered to be one of the most influential figures in Japanese jazz history. Beloved by many in the Japanese jazz scene as “Oma-san”- Suzuki was renowned for developing young talent. Noriko was one of his prodigies, and so ‘Push’ became a vehicle to showcase her and his band as well, which featured notably future renowned players such as keyboardist, Masanori Sasaji, who went on to back Yasuaki Shimizu and guitarist, Kazumasa Akiyama, who played with many major Japanese Jazz musicians. According to Noriko, these young musicians in the group helped Suzuki create a brand new sound, mixing orthodox jazz with the crossover / fusion sound that was popular at the time, coming together supremely on ‘Push’.
For ‘Push’, Suzuki focused on Noriko’s unique prowess of singing songs in English, somewhat a rarity in the Japanese music scene at the time. She sang two jazz standards, ‘Everything I Have Is Yours’ and ‘Stella By Starlight’ on the album. Noriko also wrote English lyrics for two original compositions of Suzuki’s, an instrumental piece, ‘Cadillac Woman’, and ‘My Life’, a song that he composed for Kimiko Kasai, who’d originally sung it in Japanese on her 1977 album, ’Tokyo Special’.
Noriko fulfilled her long-held dream of becoming a soul singer after she moved to the US in 1990 and subsequently joined a number of prestigious outfits, such as Eddie Murphy’s band, Graham Central Station, the Brothers Johnson and Side Effect, but ‘Push’ is the album that paved the way for her career and hopefully, with this first time ever, worldwide reissue, it will attract more listeners. Sadly the producer of this album, Isao Suzuki sadly passed away recently at the age of 89. It is unfortunate that he was not able to see the reissue of this special album that he produced for Noriko Miyamoto.
CHOOSE FROM A LIST OF STORES AND PLATFORMS
2. Stella by Starlight (Instrumental)
4. My Life
5. Everything I Have Is Yours
6. Cadillac Woman