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Trio 96 - Quartet 99 CD (album) cover


Trio 96


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.95 | 2 ratings

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Man With Hat
4 stars Boundless enthusiasm, table for four.

Trio96 are a Japanese band that exemplify the best things in Japanese rock...high octane, technically proficient, creative, full of passion & fervor....mixed with a dash of chaos and a profound Japanese attitude. The best thing about this album is that it maintains this intensity throughout. There are no ballads, no exploratory solo spots, no floating ambiences...just full force Japanese jazz-rock attacks. The worst thing about this album is that is exists for a mere 31 minutes. While the Italians consider that a proper album length, it barely breeches the banks of an EP, especially being this album was released in 2004. But it is a wonderful way to spend a half an hour.

While the album is separated into five songs, to my ears it plays just as well as one full opus. Each track contains the basic following ingredients: constantly shifting drums, propulsive bass, razor like guitar, and spitting saxophone, in various concoctions and arrangements. While this never reaches a free jazz like fury, it definitely embraces the avant-garde ethos, something that seemingly is well integrated in the culture of Japanese jazz-rock//fusion. If I had to pick favorite sections, I suppose I would be partial to 9 Beats and Hayai Kyoku, but this is definitely an album where if you like one song, you'll like the entirety of it.

All in all, this is an excellent display of modern jazz-rock from the very fertile shores of Japan. For those with any interest in (fairly) current prog from japan this is worth tracking down. This album may also make a good introduction to the more out side of the jazz-rock spectrum, as it certainly embraces outre music's spirit but doesn't really shun the more conventional side of the formula. If this album was a proper album length, it would be a very strong 4-4.5 stars, but as it is, I'm more comfortable rating it a 3.5-3.75 and rounding up to 4. Conditionally recommended.

Man With Hat | 4/5 |


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