Tatsuya Takahashi & Tokyo Union Orchestra - The Rock Seasons. 1972 Japan

Lead by saxophonist Tatsuya Takahashi, The Rock Seasons is basically instrumental electric big band music. There's a minor fuzz edge here, but in principle, this is rock music for the coat and tie set. The themes are decidedly mid 60s, and one could hear this as being a soundtrack to a frivolous film of that era. Being a former stage band performer myself, music like this can be challenging to play, and the horn charts are often complicated. It's all a bit of good fun though, and truth be told, there isn't a whole a lot of this kind of music on the open market.

Like many Japanese rock albums from the early 70s, The Rock Seasons is about as common as finding government employees working on official holidays.

This was one of the last CDRWL submissions from the AC (early 2015), who has gone missing since. We definitely miss his contributions - not just to that blog, but to my overall knowledge. Come back man!

His comments are: "Late saxophonist and band leader Takahashi appeared on about a million different recordings in his heyday, but seems to be most known outside of Japan for some of his mid 70s work on the Three Blind Mice label. From my perspective however, his most interesting work might be this obscure set recorded with his Tokyo Union big band during the height of Japan's "New Rock" era of major label experimentation. There's some kind of seasonal/elemental theme going on here, but it's not too relevant honestly, as what we're presented with is a fun sequence of instrumental electric big band/jazz rock pieces that are propelled along by melodic sax/flute, tight horn charts, groovy bass lines and even the occasional fuzz/wah guitar lick. Lacks the depth and atmosphere of a contemporaneous work like Toshiyuki Miyama's "Tsuchi no Ne", but is quite an entertaining listen nonetheless."

Last listen: August 22, 2016

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