Boomkat Product Review:
Scorching, playfully grooving jazz peach from 1979 Japan - the only recording made by Mitsuaki Katayama, released on the legendary Johnny’s Disk Record.
“Studio Mule present a reissue of Mitsuaki Katayama Trio's First Flight, originally issued in 1979 on Johnny's Disk Record. Johnny's Disk Record is an independent jazz label run by the owner of jazz cafe Kaiunbashi No Johnny, located in Rikuzentakata City in Iwate prefecture, Japan. The legendary label released a string of albums of high quality but down-to-earth music, spanning from modern jazz and avant-garde jazz to left-field pop. Albums such as Farewell My Johnny/Left Alone (1980) and Aya's Samba (1978) have reached cult status among fans as some of the best works to come out of the Japanese jazz scene.
This debut album by drummer and actor Mitsuaki Katayama is a Japanese jazz masterpiece consisting of five original compositions. The no-filler album includes the tracks "Unknown Point", a danceable jazz samba with tight and powerful drumming and the melancholic "Arizona High Way", a tune that perfectly epitomizes what Japanese jazz is about. "It's Over" features beautiful piano work by Kichiro Sugino, a promising pianist who tragically succumbed to a chronic illness and couldn't fully realize his potential.”