Kyoto Jazz Massive: 10th Anniversary

On this exceptional two-disc compilation, an all-star cast of DJs and producers pays tribute to an acid jazz giant and provides an ideal introduction to the sophisticated world of broken beat music.

Kyoto Jazz Massive

10th Anniversary

Label: Compost
US Release Date: 2006-06-13
UK Release Date: 2006-05-08

Despite Ken Burns's earnestly filmed argument to the contrary, jazz is not America's art form. Although jazz has roots in American traditions it has often been most interesting when it has mixed with global music ranging from European classical composition to Brazilian popular styles. In the 21st century, one group that represents the global face of jazz is the Kyoto Jazz Massive, and thanks to the new two-disc compilation, 10th Anniversary, that group stands poised to reach a wider audience than ever before.

The Kyoto Jazz Massive is composed of Japanese producer/DJ brothers Shuya and Yoshihiro Okino. For over a decade they have blurred the lines between electronic, jazz and Latin music with their brand of broken beat music. Besides pioneering acid jazz in Japan and revolutionizing the music scene in its home country, the duo has gained a worldwide audience and influenced many of the most successful electronic artists around the globe. The latest Kyoto Jazz Massive compilation, 10th Anniversary offers an overview of the duo's sound and demonstrates the expansiveness of their influence.

10th Anniversary contains only one straight track from the Kyoto Jazz Massive. The other tracks are remixes, covers and tributes inspired by the work of the Okino brothers. Some of the groups on the collection, including Jazztronik and DJ Mitsu, are Japanese, but 10th Anniversary truly spans the globe. One of the best tracks, a remix of the KJM track "Brightness of These Days", comes from a British DJ, the rising star Will Holland, a.k.a. Quantic. The track opens with a subdued jazz guitar, a sultry vocal and a simple beat, but after a few minutes it changes into a funky, upbeat dance masterpiece.

The Quantic remix is just one of many highlights on this disc. Latin grooves and vocal harmonies distinguish the 11-minute "Rondo Da Cuica" by Brazilian fusion artist Da Lata. The memorable track "Tomorrow Never Comes" by Reel People features Vanessa Freeman on vocals and incorporates a downtempo dance beat, jazz instruments, and tribal flutes. Another standout is the Sleepwalker cover of the Kyoto Jazz Massive classic, "Eclipse", which contains elaborate piano and saxophone parts that give the music a more dominant jazz sound.

Although all the tracks on 10th Anniversary fall under the same broad category of 21st century nu-jazz, each artist on the set presents a unique spin on the genre which Kyoto Jazz Massive pioneered and helped popularize. The versatile collection is equally well suited to be played in a dance club or at a hip cocktail party, and its breadth and depth will make it a treasure for all kinds of music listeners. Seasoned electronic listeners will enjoy hearing the exclusive mixes by some of the most respected artists on the international scene, while traditional jazz fans should be interested to hear how their beloved music has intermingled with international dance styles. Those new to broken beat or Kyoto Jazz Massive will find in 10th Anniversary a fine introduction to a rich world of innovative yet satisfying music. The collection is an ideal tribute album -- one which acknowledges a giant of the past, explores the styles of the present, and offers a glimpse of sounds to come -- and as such would be a fine addition to any serious music fan's collection.


In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.