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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Japan

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NOA was an Japanese jazz rock trio featuring Hirofumi MITOMA, Takao OHZEKI and Ichiro TAKESAKO. They released their only album in the late 80's with similarities to works of Bill BRUFORD and the sound of KING CRIMSON in those times.

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3.72 | 10 ratings
4.00 | 7 ratings
If Tomorrow Comes

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 Tri-Logic by NOA album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.72 | 10 ratings

Noa Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Noa was an obscure Prog band from Japan, led by drummer Ichiro Takesako, a huge fan of Bill Bruford.The other members were Hirofumi Mitoma, who played electric- and synth guitar and bassist/singer Takao Ohzeki.They released one album for the unknown PAM label in 1987, titled ''Tri-logic'', recorded at the Studio Plus One in Setagaya in Feburary 1987.

Despite not having the recent technology in display, Noa played a super-tight Prog Fusion along the lines of BRUFORD and ALLAN HOLDSWORTH and quite similar to Japanese acts like MONGOL or WAPPA GAPPA, borrowing the dramatic endeavors of 70's Prog Rock and blending them with jazzy moves and atmospheric 80's-styled synth-based soundscapes.While their music had a certain tendency towards virtuosity, they never abandoned the leanings towards more melodious themes and the mood for constructing proper music with multiple themes and energetic moves.I can even hear echoes of GENESIS, CAMEL and HAPPY THE MAN at some point, but this far from a true symphonic album, it's deeply Fusion-oriented with different inspiration sources in every track, even visiting the Latin side of Fusion or even the Canterbury stylings as proposed by KENSO.While the robotic keyboard parts are of an acquired state, I can't help playing this album over and over, the guitar work is simply outstanding, the mixture of technical plays with refined ideas is superb to say the least and the bass and drum works sound impressive, no wonder, Japanese musicians are known for being unbelievably skilled.The tracks are quite long, largely instrumental and absolutely captivating with great tempo changes and breaks and some lovely melodies throughout.

Hirofumi Mitoma also played with Mongol, while Ohzeki was later replaced by Yoshiyuki Sakurai, previously with Aquapolis and later a member of Hal & Ring and East Wind Pot.Noa apparently disbanded shortly after the album's release.

Excellent Japanese underground Fusion with symphonic underlines, some great atmospheric moments and plenty of technical exhibitions.No less than highly recommended.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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