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Various Artists

WaJazz: Japanese Jazz Spectacle Vol. I - Deep, Heavy and Beautiful Jazz from Japan 1968-1984

WaJazz: Japanese Jazz Spectacle Vol. I - Deep, Heavy and Beautiful Jazz from Japan 1968-1984

180g | CAT #: 180GHMVLP01

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  • Essential 14-track collection of “WaJazz” music selected and compiled by renowned Japanese jazz expert Yusuke Ogawa, owner of the Universounds record store in Tokyo
  • Gatefold 180g heavy double vinyl LP. Comes with extensive track-by-track liner notes by Yusuke Ogawa
  • All tracks licensed by Nippon Columbia, Tokyo, Japan
  • Mastering and lacquer cut by Jukka Sarapää at Timmion Cutting Lab, Helsinki, Finland


ARTIST: Various Artists
LABEL: 180g

  • Jazz
  • Japanese Jazz
  • Free Jazz
  • Fusion


Universounds, HMV Record Shop, and 180g team up for an exceptional release: from blazing hard bop to free jazz to introspective saxophone solos and massive big band sounds, renowned Japanese jazz expert Yusuke Ogawa presents an essential 14-track collection of “WaJazz” music taken from the Nippon Columbia vaults. Featuring Jiro Inagaki, Minoru Muraoka, Hiroshi Suzuki, Hozan Yamamoto, Count Buffalo, Takeshi Inomata, and much more!

“Japanese jazz has been recognized and celebrated by music lovers worldwide for decades. The origins of this trend may be traced back to the rare groove movement that flourished in the 1990s, but its current deep and wide popularity seems to be connected to the fact that Japanese people have been reevaluating their own jazz since the mid-2000s, locally referred to as WaJazz (“Wa” meaning Japan but also the Shōwa emperor period, from 1926 to 1989). Since the beginning of the 2000s, there has been a growing trend to move away from the DJ-focused perspective and to appreciate jazz with a deeper understanding. Nowadays, there is more and more interest in the background and roots in which jazz has developed in Japan, with Japanese jazz as a whole now considered as its own distinctive genre.

Of course, even if we speak about “WaJazz” as one genre, there is a truly wide variety of styles within it. However, when Japanese musicians play, there is something uniquely Japanese flowing through that creates a kind of synergy. It may be the melody, the rhythm, or even something deeper, like an inexpressible flicker. I would be happy if some of its charms and secrets emerge from the fourteen tracks included in this collection.” --Yusuke Ogawa

Yusuke Ogawa has been running the Universounds store in Tokyo since 2001, specializing in jazz and second-hand, rare, and collector records. He is also a reissue supervisor, label manager, DJ, and music writer. Known for his vast musical knowledge, eye for detail, and archival skills, Ogawa has worked on more than 250 reissues and compilations – including the highly praised Deep Jazz Reality and Project Re: Vinyl series. He is the co-author of the Wa-Jazz Disc Guide and the Independent Black Jazz of America books.


1. Tadaaki Misago / Tokyo Cuban Boys - Sakura Sakura
2. Minoru Muraoka with New Jazz Players - Muraiki
3. Count Buffalo / The Jazz Rock Band - Mago-Uta
4. Kiyoshi Sugimoto - D-51
5. Toshiyuki Miyama / The The New Herd - Adult's Day
6. Soul Media - Breeze
7. George Ohtsuka - Sea View
8. Hozan Yamamoto Masahiko Togashi Tosuke Yamashita - Breath Prologue
9. Jiro Ignaki / Soul Media - Do It
10. Hiroshi Suzuki - Romance
11. Masahiko Sato - Tochi Mo Kurumi Mo Fukiotose
12. Masahiko Togashi - Fourth Expression
13. Takeshi Inomata / Sound Limited - Mustache (OK)
14. Takeo Moriyama - Watarase



  • Artwork – Nicolas Kerembellec
  • Calligraphy [WaJazz Hand Calligraphy] – Shiho Urakawa
  • Coordinator [Release Coordination] – Brian Durr, Gregory Gouty
  • Executive-Producer – Gregory Gouty, Maxime Brottes
  • Lacquer Cut By – JSA
  • Liner Notes [Translated By] – Gregory Gouty
  • Liner Notes, Compiled By – Yusuke Ogawa
  • Mastered By – Jukka Sarapää
  • Proofreader – Brian Durr


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180GHMVLP01 - Various Artists - WaJazz: Japanese Jazz Spectacle Vol. I
2LP / Black180GHMVLP01-BK
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