Exposé Online banner

Jizue — Story
(Bud Music DQC-1521, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-19

Story Cover art

This Japanese band has yet to garner much interest outside their homeland, but are certainly deserving wider recognition. The quartet consists of Noriyuki Inoue (guitar), Kie Katagi (piano), Go Yamada (bass), and Shin Kokawa (drums). The first thing a listener notices about Jizue is that they like to play fast. The music is marginally jazz, though it could also be called melodic instrumental post-rock with some latin and jazz flavors, and nearly all of their tunes proceed at a breakneck pace that doesn’t let up. Given the rapid ostinatos found on many of the tunes, one could draw a comparison to Hiromi Uehara, though there’s much more improvisation and extended harmonics with Hiromi. So while Jizue’s music is melodic and not especially dense harmonically, they play it so well that it’s hard not to be sucked in. A track like “City” is a good example. It starts with a dizzying sixteenth-note pattern on the piano accompanied by crisp cymbals. Then the guitar comes in and they state a theme where piano and clean guitar complement each other nicely. Then the ostinato comes back on the piano, and the guitar plays a tricky interlocking part. The two instruments vary their parts for some lovely interactions before coming back to the main theme. An extended middle section sees the return of the guitar / piano interlocking parts, with the guitar slowly building up to a climax where the piano states a melody dramatically as the drums keep up the speed. Other tracks tackle brisk latin beats and even some electronic touches, with both keyboards and percussion getting in on the act. While none of their music is especially difficult, it also isn’t quite like anything else, and to be honest, it’s just downright fun to listen to. It’s a highly melodic spin on post-rock that feels like it has a taste of math rock in it even though they’re not often playing in odd meters. Story is definitely worth the effort to seek out.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Jizue

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Laguna de Volcanes – After thirty or forty albums sung in English, Cast here present a set of their best tunes with the vocals redone in Spanish. OK, I'm exaggerating – they only have nine studio albums and two...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues