Jiro Inagaki

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Jiro Inagaki, born on October 3, 1933, was a Japanese jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer who played a pivotal role in popularizing jazz music in Japan. He was known for his innovative approach to fusion jazz, blending jazz, funk, and soul elements into his music. Inagaki formed his influential band, Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media, in the late 1960s, captivating audiences with their dynamic performances and groovy sound.

Inagaki's music was characterized by his powerful saxophone playing and his ability to seamlessly merge different musical genres. He released numerous albums throughout his career, including the acclaimed "Funky Stuff" and "Head Rock," showcasing his unique style and collaborations with talented musicians.

In addition to his music, Inagaki made significant contributions to film scores and TV soundtracks, adding his distinctive touch to the Japanese entertainment industry. His compositions were often featured in popular films and television dramas, expanding his influence beyond the realm of jazz.

Jiro Inagaki's impact on the Japanese jazz scene and his pioneering efforts in fusion jazz continue to inspire musicians and listeners alike. Despite his passing on January 18, 2024, his legacy as a versatile saxophonist and bandleader lives on.


As leader

  • This Is Jazz-Rock (Nippon Columbia, 1968), with Norio Maeda
  • Tenor Sax Screen Mood (Nippon Columbia, 1968)
  • Tenor Sax Standard Album (Nippon Columbia, 1969)
  • Do You Know The Way To San Jose? (Nippon Columbia, 1970)
  • Jazz & Rock "Out" (Nippon Columbia, 1970)
  • Head Rock (Nippon Columbia, 1970)
  • Woodstock Generation (Union, 1970)
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water (Nippon Columbia, 1971)
  • Quad Dimension / Rock'n Latin (Nippon Columbia, 1971)
  • Wandering Birds featuring Sammy (茅野 雅美) (Nippon Columbia, 1971)
  • Something (Nippon Columbia, 1971), with Steve Marcus; first released digital recording
  • Dōsojin 道祖神 (Nippon Columbia, 1972)
  • Rough & Elegance (Denon, 1972)
  • Dock Of My Mind (Nippon Columbia, 1972), with Yasushi Sawada
  • By The Red Stream (Nippon Columbia, 1973)
  • In The Groove (Nippon Columbia, 1973)
  • Funky Stuff (Nippon Columbia, 1975)
  • Funky Best (Nippon Columbia, 1975)
  • Blockbuster (Eastworld, 1978), with Chuck Rainey Rhythm Section
  • Memory Lane (Nippon Columbia, 1980)
  • Jazzy (Nippon Columbia, 1981)
  • Jazz Rock Legend (Nippon Columbia, 2013), compilation
  • Multiple artists, Sensational Jazz '70 Vol.0 (Nippon Columbia, 2015)

As sideman

  • Modern Jazz All Stars of Japan, Battle of Funky (Toshiba, 1961)
  • Helen Merrill, Helen Merrill in Tokyo (King, 1963)
  • Yūzō Kayama, Go-Go With Kayama (Toshiba, 1967)
  • Shianbashi Blues (Nippon Columbia, 1968)
  • Mood In Blues (Nippon Columbia)
  • Motohiko Hino & His Friends, Beat Drums (Denon, 1971)
  • Sammy with Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media, Woman, Robinson Crusoe – Rock Steady (Nippon Columbia, 1972)
  • Akira Okazawa, ギリシャについて書かれた本 (A Book Written About Greece) (Columbia Nippon, 1973)
  • Hiormasa Suzuki, High-Flying (Nippon Columbia, 1976)
  • Pink Lady, Challenge Concert (Victor, 1977)
  • Hideo Shiraki Quintet, Boomerang Baby (Express, 1980)
  • Wind-Breakers, Wind-Breakers (Discomate, 1980)
  • Norio Maeda & Wind-Breakers, I'll Remember April (Discomate, 1981), tenor saxophone, flute; also producer
  • Miki with Wind-Breakers, I'm A Woman (Philips, 1981)
  • Norio Maeda & Wind-Breakers, Misty (Discomate, 1983)

As producer

  • Mao, One For Elton John (Denon, 1971)
  • Mao, Call On Me (Liberty, 1972)
  • Kei Marimura, The Man I Love (Discomate, 1983)
  • Kei Marimura, P.S. I Love You (Discomate, 1983)
  • Naomi Miyanaga, Moment (Discomate, 1984)
  • Norio Maeda Trio, The Shadow Of Your Smile (Apollon, 1986)
  • Izumi Yukimura, (Nippon Columbia, 1992)

Source: https://wikitia.com/wiki/Jiro_Inagaki


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