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Kazumi Watanabe

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Kazumi Watanabe The Spice Of Life album cover
3.55 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Melancho (3:29)
2. Hiper K (5:38)
3. City (4:28)
4. Period (6:38)
5. Unt (5:48)
6. Na Starovia (4:43)
7. Lim-Poo (4:50)
8. J.F.K. (4:55)
9. Rage In (6:17)*
* CD Only

Total Time: 46:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Kazumi Watanabe / guitars, guitar-synthesizer
- Bill Bruford / electronic drums, drums, percussion
- Jeff Berlin / bass

Releases information

CD Gramavision R279420

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
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KAZUMI WATANABE The Spice Of Life ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KAZUMI WATANABE The Spice Of Life reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I had heard Kazumi Watanabe before this album. One of my co-workers in the record store had introduced me to the "Mobo" albums before this one. But at the time I was a prog snob, and didn't really notice his talent until this album, which featured some guy named Bill Bruford, and a bassist that had played in Bruford's bands, Jeff Berlin.

The album begins with Melancho, an imitation of "Discipline" era King Crimson, where Watanabe overlays guitar parts and string bending solos, impersonating both Fripp and Belew at once. Berlin alternates between his usual flying fingers basslines and Levin-like growls.

The rest of the album is more original, with Bruford being Bruford, with his adept technique making difficult patterns sound smooth and easy. Watanabe and Berlin sound like they were born to play together, pushing each other to more and more challenging lines.

While I wouldn't quite call this a masterpiece, it is a standout work of fusion, which was unusual in the depressing eighties.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Kazumi Watanabi is a Jazz Fusion guitarist and possibly Japan's most famous of those. By my count he's released 45 studio albums in 45 years. Beginning in 1971 when he was just 18 to 2016 his most recent album at 63 years of age. Yes the guy can play and he was influenced by Wes Montgomery. This particular album was released in 1987 and it's a trio with Bill Bruford on electronic drums, drums and percussion, and Jeff Berlin on bass and his play is what I enjoyed the most.

Man I've been spinning Jazz and related albums since last September and I say this because this might be a fine record but 3 stars is all I got. Just not huge on the guitar style even though he changes it up plenty and those electronic drums even though neither would keep me from giving this another spin. It's not bad at all. Forgot to mention Kazumi plays synth guitar on here too which I'm not big on but it has it's moments. I mean these are players I'm just not a fan of a lot of this. If I had to pick a couple of favourites one would be "Lim-Poo" with the spacey synths as bass and drums join in then guitar. I enjoyed this track a lot. But the opener is my favourite because of how much it sounds like "Discipline" era KING CRIMSON and Bruford is here!

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