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Sleepwalker Especial

After a noted (and now scarce) single on Kyoto Jazz Massive's Especial label, Sleepwalker drop a corker of an album, one which may seem a bit anachronistic to the casual listener. Raspy, Rollins-esque saxman Masato Nakamura leads a group that includes keys player Hajime Yoshizawa, bassist Tomokazu Sugimoto, and drummer Noboyuki Fujii in a session closer to combo-driven pre-fusion jazz on '60s-era Impulse label release than anything one usually finds in these pages. At times it seems a fetishistic Japanese reading of the jazz idiom, but in the ferocity of the playing and obvious interplay of the musicians, one finds hints of the love of the dance. Sleepwalker isn't ironic and sly, nor winsome and lovely-it's a blistering set that takes the piss right out of jazz dilettantes by rediscovering the original notes.

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