For those lucky enough to catch a live performance of Japanese jazz-animals Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, one look at the legion of raised microphones in the crowd is enough to reassure that recordings of the orchestra aren’t in short supply. Fans seem to collect and trade bootlegs like comics or Star Wars figures. However, “Shibu-Hata” — last month’s official live release — is easily a cut above the usual swapping fodder. In fact, this baby deserves its own glass display case.
Recorded last June at Buddy’s Jazz Club in Ekota, in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, “Shibu-Hata” is a jaw-dropper. It encapsulates the joy and intensity of the collective’s live performance and shows how bootlegs and past albums barely scratched the surface. And what better place to capture that uninhibited elation they create than at Buddy’s, where the crowd has swarmed so thick and sweaty that people have very literally hung from the rafters to see them?
Read the full review at The Japan Times Online.