The fifth release in the BBE Music J Jazz Masterclass Series has the perfect combination of rarity and exceptional musicality that inspires seasoned collectors to break out in a sweat. Animals Garden by Miyasaka + 5 was originally issued in 1979 on the cult private Japanese label ALM and is reissued for the first time on LP and CD.
Animals Garden was a one-off project led by master drummer Takashi 'Bear' Miyasaka and features a powerful and progressive jazz group including saxophonist Kōichi Matsukaze, whose Earth Mother album has also been reissued by BBE Music. The four extended tracks on Animals Garden exemplify the high standard of playing and arranging that was a characteristic of jazz composed and recorded in Japan during the late 1970s. All four numbers were composed by Miyasaka and the album spans a range of styles, from febrile post-bop and head nodding modal, to deep funky blues and elegiac balladry. The title track was included on J Jazz Volume 2, but the three remaining cuts are equally enchanting.
As ever, Animals Garden is issued with an exact reproduction of the original artwork, translated original notes plus brand new sleeve notes. The vinyl album is presented in a deluxe thick card gatefold sleeve with reproduction obi strip, spread across two LPs cut at 45rpm for superb sound quality.
BBE Music's J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in modern jazz recorded in Japan from a 'golden period', the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.