United by a stellar theme of the universe, the Tokyo jazz quartet Blue Dot explores stars and galaxies on their debut album Halo from 2016.

Through ten songs tuned to the mysteries of space and time, the music is solidly modern and positively charged. Tokyo-based drummer Makoto Takeshi leads a quartet consisting of sax, piano, bass, and drums, with original songs supplied by all members of the group.

The energetic opener, “Sturm und Drang” (by pianist Tamashi Goto) is a sharp-edge sprint through modern jazz, while “Bird” (by bassist Goro Takano) is a creative and mesmerizing tune, soft and deep, inspired by dreams of flying.

With strong appeal to the universe theme, Rikitake’s “Andromeda” is a gentle, peaceful ode to the wonders of space, while “Echo of Stars” (Tamashi Goto) is a darker, ECM-style mysteriously brooding adventure.

In a memorable closer, the vocalist Maki Fujimura is featured on the last tune “Moon”, a sweet song with Japanese lyrics.

Other songs feature jazz combined with pretty waltz-time ballads, poppy soft-rock, quirky uptempo funk, and snappy Latin beats, all infused with a sense of open-eyed wonder and appreciation for nature and life on this blue dot of a planet.

Halo by Blue Dot

Released in 2016 on Blue Dot as Halo.

Japanese Names: Makoto Rikitake 力武誠 Tamashi Goto 後藤魂 Masanori Sugimoto 杉本匡教 Goro Katano 片野吾朗 Maki Fujimura 藤村麻紀

Audio and Video

Other links: Excerpt from "Sturm und Drang", the opening track on this album:

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Mar 6, 2019