Exposé Online banner

Daimonji — Improg
(Musea FGBG 4522.AR, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

Improg Cover artWe really shouldn’t be surprised at the number of different projects involving keyboardist Hoppy Kamiyama and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida. After all, back in the 60s, nobody thought it was odd that Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams ended up on so many people’s records. Those two free agents are joined by bassist Nasuno Mitsuru for this set of improvised music, the offshoot of their warm-ups for another group that features them all, the Jun Togawa Band. Unlike much improvised music, they don’t really wander into anything resembling free jazz or typical droning rock jams, but manage a surprisingly coherent flow, with varying sections following each other spontaneously. They originally called themselves Improg, but eventually settled on Daimonji and gave their first album the old band name (they have since released a follow-up, which I have not yet heard). “Improg” suits the music perfectly, as it is improvised but sounds amazingly like progressive rock, mostly due to Kamiyama’s keyboard style; he relies heavily on electric piano and single-line synthesizer parts, and doesn’t often venture into pure atonality. Yoshida follows his lead telepathically with his characteristic loose-but-tight playing toned down a bit from his jazzier work or Ruins. Both Kamiyama and Yoshida indulge themselves from time to time with borderline goofy singing, and when they mimic the instrumental parts vocally the result is an illusion of pre-arrangement. The net result is an improvised album that could very well appeal to listeners who are not fond of improvised albums.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Tatsuya Yoshida, Hoppy Kamiyama, Daimonji

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kate Bush - Aerial – As listeners and consumers of music, we generally have contact with artists only through their work, and are only aware of their lives outside music as they present it in their recordings (unless they...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues