Hajime Yoshizawa – Innocent Nocturne

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

Sleep Walker’s Hajime Yoshizawa returns with his latest album Innocent Nocturne, already his second longplayer on Village Again in 2008 (following Japan).

01. Song To Remember
02. May
03. Jekyll & Hyde
04. Eastern Step
05. Siesta
06. Thursday
07. Cat Chat Poh
08. Summer Backyard
09. Shukaku No Toki

Innocent Nature is on a bit different tip than Yoshizawa’s previous work, though it still has that trademark sound. The piano is the dominant instrument here, accompanied by bass and percussion only. It would be easy to imagine this was recorded in the glorious days of jazz, or to hear it performed in a jazz club or hotel lounge. As with all releases on Village Again, the album is only available in Japan, but Juno Records currently has some imports available.

Sleep Walker – Into The Sun

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

French label Jazzmin has released a new album from Sleep Walker. Well, one might say it’s not a new album, but a collection of their previous 12-inches – either way, for the first time these tracks are officially available outside of Japan and in a digital format.

Sleep Walker are a jazz quartet around Hajime Yoshizawa, that already released two albums in Japan (Sleep Walker in 2004 and The Voyage in 2006) through Especial Records. Into The Sun mixes tracks from both albums and their more recent 12-inch singles.01. Brotherhood
02. Into The Sun (feat. Bembe Segue)
03. Resurrection (Tokyo Night mix)
04. River Of Love (feat. Bembe Segue)
05. Ai-no-tabi
06. Wind (feat. Yukimi Nagano)
07. Eclipse
08. The Voyage (feat. Pharoah Sanders)
The more prominent tracks are certainly River Of Love with Bembe Segue, longtime partner of Mark de Clive-Lowe, and Eclipse, cover of an early Kyoto Jazz Massive track. Wind features Yukimi Nagano on the vocals and gained some attention through Sonar Kollektiv’s Neujazz compilation, released earlier in 2008. Lastly I want to mention the track The Voyage, which features Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax. The group got involved with Sanders on their first European tour, on which both played at London’s Jazz Café for four consecutive nights – which eventually led to their collaboration.

Speaking of touring, Sleep Walker are currently playing live all over Europe, including dates in London, Paris, Basel, Zagreb, Bratislava and Yekaterinburg. Check their events page on Last.fm for details (and all dates). The album can be purchased at Juno Download, People’s Music, iTunes and the likes.