Funky Rising Sun: Jiro Inagaki and Soul Media


Another slice of Japanese musical sashimi for everyone’s aural pleasure tonight. I’ve just returned from a long and hard couple of weeks of travel, which took in Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Brussels and now (tomorrow) Singapore!  Feeling pretty wiped out!

I love Jiro Inagaki’s music which is usually referred to or labelled as jazz.  But as this album shows, and the title suggests, jazz for Jiro, is definitely not bebop or post bop.  Rather it is more on the funky, soul jazz, R&B side of the tracks.  He often covers soul standards (Funky Stuff, here) and doesn’t hesitate to draw dance beats, WAR-sounds and lots of brassiness into the equation.

I’ve not been able to dig out much useful information about Mr Inagaki but his name pops up from time to time as a sideman with other Japanese jazz artists and he has enough name recognition in record stores in Tokyo for the shop keepers to point you to a (small) section of his CDs.

Whoever he is, I think he plays the sax with great feel and funk. His band, Soul Media, is pretty capable as well. Quite a big band it sounds like which would probably be even more fun live than on tape.

Nothing wrong at all with this piece of Japanese-jazz-funk-soul.  Grab a geisha and settle down for some groovy moments.

Funky Stuff

Track Listing:

01 Painted Paradise

02 Funky Motion

03 Breeze

04 Scratch

05 Funky Stuff

06 One for Jiroh

07 Gentle Wave

08 Four Up




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