The fifth release in the BBE Music J Jazz Masterclass Series has the perfect combination of rarity and exceptional musicality that inspires seasoned collectors to break out in a sweat. ‘Animals Garden’ by Miyasaka + 5 was originally issued in 1979 on the cult private Japanese label ALM and is reissued for the first time on LP, CD and digital formats.
‘Animals Garden’ was a one-off project led by master drummer Takashi ‘Bear’ Miyasaka and features a powerful and progressive jazz group including saxophonist Koichi Matsukaze, whose ‘Earth Mother’ album has also been reissued by BBE Music.
The four extended tracks on ‘Animals Garden’ exemplify the high standard of playing and arranging that was a characteristic of jazz composed and recorded in Japan during the late 1970s. All four numbers were composed by Miyasaka and the album spans a range of styles, from febrile post-bop and head nodding modal, to deep funky blues and elegiac balladry. The title track was included on J Jazz Volume 2, but the three remaining cuts are equally enchanting.