Exposé Online banner

Kenso — Sparta Naked
(Pathograph PA 3506, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Sparta Naked Cover art

Fans of Kenso will certainly be familiar with the band’s album Sparta from 1989, a bold step in a more jazz-rock / fusion direction following their first three studio and double-live albums, while still retaining much of their unique Japanese character – mostly in the songwriting of bandleader and guitarist Yoshihisa Shimizu. The songs are outstanding, many remaining in their live repertoire to this day. One might be led to think that with a title like Sparta Naked, this might be some kind of stripped down acoustic reworking of that material, but in fact that is definitely not the case. Instead, this is a completely reworked and remixed-from-the-ground-up version of the original Sparta, beginning with the conversion of the original analog tapes to digital. From there it was completely re-produced by Kenichi Mitsuda, one of the band’s keyboardists in the current lineup (and not a member at the time the original was recorded). Those recordings occurred over a transitional period of several years beginning in ’87, during which time the bassist and drummer changed, and time and finances presented challenges to completion. So what we have with Sparta Naked is a clarification of the intent of the original album’s release using the best technology available today. Everything about the original is improved, now cleaner, crisper, and better defined in the soundfield; everything in the mix can now be heard more clearly. A solo piano version of “Bifuka” (by Mitsuda) and recent live version of opener “Good Days, Bad Days” are added as bonus tracks.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Kenso

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ozric Tentacles - Arborescence – The Ozrics seem to be believers in the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." They've found a style that works for them and that their fans seem to like. On this, their latest release, they've...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues