Wednesday, November 11, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Casiopea

Song:Sunnyside Feelin'
Album:The Soundgraphy

Jazz has always been very popular in Japan. So it's not surprising that there have been some successful jazz musicians from Japan. Casiopea is a jazz fusion group formed in the 70s in Japan and they had success in the 80s. The leader and main songwriter of Casiopea is guitarist Issei Noro. He formed Casiopea in 1976. Other members were pianist Minoru Mukaiya, bassist Tetsuo Sakurai and drummer Akira Jimbo. This was the lineup for the band's prime in the 80s. Casiopea signed with Alfa Records in 1979, a Japanese label that would eventually open a US subsidiary. Sunnyside Feelin' is from their 1981 album Cross Point which was produced by Harvey Mason. The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Don Grusin, Lee Ritenour and Nathan East are among those to make guest appearances on Casiopea albums. The Soundgraphy is a comp that was released in 1984 and also includes guest appearances by Bob James, Paulinho Da Costa and Kiki Dee. Like many of Casiopea's CDs, it's only available as an import so it's expensive. But they will be of interest to fusion fans. Jimbo and Sakurai left in 1989 and were replaced by Yoshihiro Naruse and Masakai Hiyama. They continued until Noro disbanded Casiopea in 2006 to form his new band Inspirit. They reformed in 2012 and released a CD of new music earlier this year. Obviously Casiopea have been a big deal in Japan since the 80s but aren't that well known here. But fusion fans should check them out. Here's Casiopea performing Sunnyside Feelin' in 1982.

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