This is one of those hynotic early sixties Blue Note sessions that must surely go down as one of Jazz's masterpieces. This was recorded as a dedication to Silver's Japanese fans and the reception his band received whilst on tour there.
We start with the kicking,"Too much Sake." It's Silver's agility and sense of tempo, omnipresent on all his recordings that mark his music out. This track is another classic example.
Then we come to, "Sayonara Blues," for me one of the greatest pieces of music in Jazz. Witness the way Silver builds the tempo from a single starting note, his relentless control of the tempo through two admirable solos from Mitchell and Cook and then his own beautiful arching solo that breaks through the rhythm of the track. It's a transcendal piece of music, "Deep Jazz," as we so often call pieces of music like these these days and somewhat ground-breaking in its execution.
Some of Blue Mitchell's work on this record is simply outstanding, his understanding of the rhythm laid down by his bandleader is simply flawless, check out the snaking,"The Tokyo Blues." He plays to the music and isn't trying to show you what a good trumpeter he is.
The slow swinger,"Cheery Blossom," marks a beautifully languid moment, before with we swing into the Japenese tinged melody of,"Ah! So," a phonetic writing of ,"Wow," in Japanese.
Francis Wolff's classic Blue Note covers adorns this outstanding record and one asks the question when this will be given the Rudy Van Gelder remaster treatment. I suppose it doesn't really matter, it's sublime just how it is.