Japanese jazz has been recognized and celebrated by music lovers worldwide for decades. The origins of this trend may be traced back to the rare groove movement that flourished in the 1990s, but its current deep and wide popularity seems to be connected to the fact that Japanese people have been re-evaluating their own jazz since the mid-2000s, locally referred to as WaJazz ("Wa" meaning Japan but also the Shōwa emperor period, from 1926 to 1989). Since the beginning of the 2000s, there has been a growing trend to move away from the DJ-focused perspective and to appreciate jazz with a deeper understanding. Nowadays, there is more and more interest in the background and roots in which jazz has developed in Japan, with Japanese jazz as a whole now considered as its own distinctive genre.
Of course, even if we speak about "WaJazz" as one genre, there is a truly wide variety of styles within it. However, when Japanese musicians play, there is something uniquely Japanese flowing through that creates a kind of synergy. It may be the melody, the rhythm, or even something deeper, like an inexpressible flicker. I would be happy if some of its charms and secrets emerge from the fourteen tracks included in this collection.” (Yusuke Ogawa)
1. Tadaaki Misago & Tokyo Cuban Boys - Sakura Sakura
2. Minoru Muraoka with New Jazz Players - Muraiki
3. Count Buffalo & The Jazz Rock Band - Mago-Uta
4. Kiyoshi Sugimoto Quartet - D-51
5. Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd - Adult’s Day
6. Soul Media - Breeze
7. George Otsuka - Sea View
8. Hozan Yamamoto, Masahiko Togashi, Yosuke Yamashita - Breath Prologue
9. Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media - Do It!
10. Hiroshi Suzuki - Romance
11.Masahiko Sato - Tochi Mo Kurumi Mo Fukiotose
12. Masahiko Togashi - Fourth Expression
13. Takeshi Inomata & Sound Ltd. - Mustache (Live)
14. Takeo Moriyama - Watarase