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Various Artists
WaJazz: Japanese Jazz Spectacle Vol.I - Deep, Heavy and Beautiful Jazz from Japan 1968-1984 - The Nippon Columbia masters - Selected by Yusuke Ogawa (Universounds)
Catalogue Number
Release Date
April 8, 2022
  • Vinyl 2×LP

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    • 180g vinyl
    • Gatefold sleeve
    • Extensive track-by-track liner notes by Yusuke Ogawa.
    • Mastering and lacquer cut by Jukka Sarapää at Timmion Cutting Lab, Helsinki, Finland.

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    Stock on order, expected soon.

Note: 2LP format contains 14 tracks

Press Release

  • Essential 14 track collection of "WaJazz" music selected and compiled by renowned Japanese jazz expert Yusuke Ogawa, owner of the Universounds record store in Tokyo.
  • All tracks licensed by Nippon Columbia, Tokyo, Japan.

Universounds, HMV Record Shop and 180g team up for an exceptional release: from blazing hard bop to free jazz, to introspective saxophone solos and massive big band sounds, renowned Japanese jazz expert Yusuke Ogawa presents an essential 14 track collection of "WaJazz" music taken from the Nippon Columbia vaults. Featuring Jiro Inagaki, Minoru Muraoka, Hiroshi Suzuki, Hozan Yamamoto, Count Buffalo, Takeshi Inomata, and much more!

"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 reevaluating their own jazz since the mid-2000s, locally referred to as WaJazz ("Wa" meaning Japan but also theShōwa 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)

Yusuke Ogawa has been running the Universounds store in Tokyo since 2001, specializing in jazz and second-hand, rare, and collector records. He is also a reissue supervisor, label manager, DJ, and music writer. Known for his vast musical knowledge, eye for detail, and archival skills, Ogawa has worked on more than 250 reissues and compilations – including the highly praised Deep Jazz Reality and Project Re:Vinyl series. He is the co-author of the Wa-Jazz Disc Guide and the Independent Black Jazz of America books.

Digital Track List

  1. 1 Sakura Sakura Tadaaki Misago & Tokyo Cuban Boys 7:35 Buy
  2. 2 Mago-Uta Count Buffalo & The Jazz Rock Band 3:45 Buy
  3. 3 Adult's Day Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd 9:29 Buy
  4. 4 Breeze Soul Media 4:35 Buy
  5. 5 Do It! Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media 7:29 Buy
  6. 6 Romance Hiroshi Suzuki 5:56 Buy
  7. 7 Fourth Expression Masahiko Togashi 6:42 Buy

    Fourth Expression

  8. 8 Watarase Takeo Moriyama 6:44 Buy

2LP Track List

  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


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