“My passion for Japanese jazz started way back in the 1970s and was fueled even more as the decade went on with the evolution of jazz dance in the UK’s burgeoning jazz funk scene. As jazz breaks emerged in the jazz rooms, the demand for danceable jazz music in the UK kept growing. Through scouring the record shops in Manchester, Birmingham, and London, the emergence of great Japanese jazz added another dimension to this genre. My love for Japanese jazz continued until the turn of the century when the names changed from Sadao Watanabe, Mikio Masuda, Casiopea, Toshiyuki Honda, Shigeharu Mukai, and the like to the new emerging nu-jazz bands like Sleep Walker, Quasimode, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Jabberloop, and in 2006, the powerful force that was the indigo jam unit!
The four musicians who came together in Osaka, Japan – Isao Wasano (Drums Percussion), Katsuhiko Sasai (Bass Double Bass), Takehiro Shimizu (Drums), and Yoshichika Tarue (Piano) – took no prisoners with their uncompromising style! Power, passion, drive, and incredible playing – they were like a lethal force. The combination of two drummers, keys, and bass was both mesmerizing and melodic, pinning your ears and dancing feet against the wall. From 2006 to 2016, they had a prolific output of albums with single-minded titles: Demonstration, Realism, Collectivity, Pirates, Roots, Independent Rebel, Milestone, Lights, and more – over 17 projects. They were all these things and more, and then in 2016, it ended when they disbanded.
For me, indigo jam unit embodied the same energy as those jazz dance greats like Art Blakey, Dom Um Romao, Stone Alliance, and the like – just uncompromising raw passion! When Gilles Peterson asked me to start my own radio show for him on Worldwide FM called (naturally enough) Jazz Dance Fusion at the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020, it meant I could introduce underexposed music that I loved. Indigo jam unit was a natural fit. Following a conversation with my long-time Jazz Ally Paul Murphy of Jazz Room Records, we quickly decided that now was the time to unleash some of their best tracks to the world on an exclusive vinyl-only release.
Jazz Room Records are proud to present to you the incredible musical power of indigo jam unit, one of Japan’s greatest bands and now available for the first time outside of Japan! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.”