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Friday, January 28, 2022

Swing Sessions - Eiji Kitamura



Swing Sessions
Eiji Kitamura and His All Stars
Producer: Fumimaru Kawashima
Musical Director: Hiroshi Isaka
Engineer: Eiji Uchinuma
Technical Coordinator: Takeo Niimi
Lathe Operation: Mitsuo Yamaguchi
Lathe Operators: Shizuo Nomiyama & Kohei Nakamura
Disc Plating & Pressing: Record Division, Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.
Recording Date: April 21, 1978
Recording Location: Iruma City Auditorium, Saitama Pref., Japan
Recording Supervisor: Terry Isono
Album Releasing Coordinator: Yutaka Horikoshi
Album Cover Design: Katsuhiko Iida
Front Cover Photo: Yasuhisa Yoneda
Other Photos: Masami Hotta
Liner Notes Translation: David Ball, FLC Inc.
Crisis  Service: Ichiro Okuno, President, RVC Corp.
A production of RVC Corporation, 1-7-8 Shibuya Tokyo 150 Japan:
affiliated with RCA Records and Victor Company of Japan
STEREO Limited Direct-To-Disc Edition


Eiji Kitamura: Clarinet
Lchiro Masuda: Vibraphone
Yoshitaka Akimitsu: Piano
Yukio Ikezawa: Bass
Hiroshi Sunaga: Drums
Judy Anton: Vocal

From the jacket notes: 

Eiji Kitamura (cl) was born in 1929. As an undergraduate at Keio University in Tokyo he devoted himself to clarinet playing. His hobby is fishing an listening to Japanese classical comic stories. He electrified the audience at the 20th Anniversary Jam Session of the famous Monterey Jazz Festival held on the West Coast of U.S., in September 1977. To the Japanese jazz press which traditionally tends to favor modern jazz, Kitamura's participation caused a sensation. He had made a deep impression on his fans through his rich playing on his regular TV program, and by taking part in this world famous event, he made a giant leap into prominence. 

Ichiro Masuda (vib) is the leading vibes player. Before becoming a jazzman, he was a proponent of Hawaiian music and had a group, the Coconut Islanders and it was then that he became interested in the electric guitar. Masuda has also been a well-known audio critic 20 years. He was born in 1933. He was already working as a professional while still an undergraduate of Meiji University in Tokyo.

Yoshitaka Akimitsu (p) is the leading swing piano player, but he has not made many recordings with Kitamura. This was because Kitamura first recorded with Day Wilson, although he knew Akimitsu. He was born in 1929. As an undergraduate of Musahino Music University in Tokyo, he devoted himself to jazz, working under Shin Matsumoto and Misao Ikeda. He was the leading player in the Rhythm Aces and also performed widely with his combo.

Ikuo Ikezawa (b) is a senior member of Kitamura's regular group. At a time when Kitamura's group was not so famous as today, Masuda and Ikezawa most often accompanied Kitamura on local tours. He was born in 1931. A graduate of Meiji University. He has been with Kitamura for the past 20 years. His hobby is baseball and drinking cold sake. He is a fashionable dresser and on the recording day he wore a brown shirt and beige pants.

Hiroshi Sunaga (ds) is the 2nd bandsman of the Kitamura group. He also favors brown color but with a downtown taste. He was born in 1932, and he turns professional when he was still a student at Musashino Music University in Tokyo. Later, as one of the members of a big band called Blue Coats he established a reputation as the leading drummer. There is no one his equal in swing music. His hobby is fishing and listening to comic stories. He is very keen on developing talent among the younger generation, and Yuki Haraguchi of Seishi Okumura's Quartet was his first pupil.

Judy Anton (v) adds a special charm to the album. She was born in U.S.A. on March 18th, 1949. Her mother is a singer and her father was big band fan, in particular, of Benny Goodman. She came to Japan with her father, a professor who came to teach at Tokyo and Kyoto University. She studied at Aoyama University, Notre Dame Women's College, and Waseda University. She has once worked as a TV personality when she met Yuzuru Sera, a jazz pianist, who encouraged her to take up singing. She has developed as a leading singing talent with her feeling that her roots are indeed in the country of her birth. Her favorite singers are Mildred Bailey and Martha Tilton.

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