Japan, 1975, spiritual jazz / modal jazz
Tohru Aizawa Quartet – Tachibana, Vol. 1: This is one of those recordings where the band members cut one album and called it quits. It’s refreshing in its eclecticism, not sticking to one sound. Of the five compositions here, two are interpretations of Corea’s and Bonfa’s works. Discordance gives way to what the casual ear would identify as more “normal” jazz, and the record ends on a strong Latin note. What I really wanted to know, however, was why the album is called Tachibana. “Tachibana” can be a feudal clan name in Japan, or it can be the name of a train station, or it can be, simply, a surname. I was fascinated, hoping the name alluded to something historical, or at the very least referenced a train station nearby where this record was cut. Nope! It’s just the surname of the producer, a man who operated a local drive-in theater.