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RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan

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O-U biography
O-U were a Japanese avant-prog ensemble in operation from 1987 to 1995. Originally performing a style of blues-based jazz-rock, O-U evolved into a chamber music outfit inspired by Rock-In-Opposition, Canterbury, contemporary classical and jazz fusion, with detectable influences from Univers Zero, Frank Zappa and Present. The core lineup featured keyboardist/clarinetist Kazuto Shimizu, who led the band and wrote the majority of its compositions, along with his drummer wife Reichi, violinist Yuriko Mukojima of Pungo and bassist Hitoshi Watanabe of the Seatbelts. The quartet would be augmented over the years by other musicians such as guitarist Tsuneo Imahori of Tipographica and Unbeltipo, saxophonists Hiroyasu Yaguchi of Real Fish and Masami Shinoda of A-Musik, trombonist Osamu Matsumoto also of Tipographica, and keyboardist Tatsuo Kondo, who used to play with Reichi in progressive-pop duo Unita Minima.

While O-U never released an album during their tenure, a posthumous self-titled compilation of studio-quality live recordings was jointly issued on compact disc by the Pawn House and Poseidon labels in 2003, featuring an Anton Webern interpretation.

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O-U discography

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