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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Asturias - Cryptogam Illusion – The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and composer Yoh Ohyama, Asturias has a sound that could be called an instrumental symphonic fusion (in the vein of Kenso, Happy the Man, Pekka Pohjola or...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues