Vayu captures a solo saxophone performance from veteran jazz player Toshihiko Inoue in 2006, released in 2016.

Originally planned as an indoor solo performance, the fine spring weather lured Toshihiko Inoue outside to perform in a garden terrace. Surrounded by nature, Inoue’s music conveys gentleness and introspection, even inspiring birds to sing along with his mellow sounds. Quiet outdoor noises, the creaking of wood, and other ambient sounds create a peaceful mood as a recording which facilitates an absorbing experience.

As Inoue plays through the five songs on this album, the listener is transported to that spring day to commune with nature and Inoue’s spirit. A legendary player for over 40 years, Toshihiko Inoue’s influence on jazz lives on, with his songs and groups continuing to be appreciated.

A translation of the liner notes:

※ Vayu = God of the Wind in Indian mythology. Incorporated into Buddhism, it becomes “Futen” (風天, Wind God).

This recording is from a concert held on April 1, 2006, which was held in a rented open garden from a landscaping company in Chofu City.

Initially, it was planned to be held indoors, but Mr. Inoue said himself “The weather is nice, the wind feels good, why don’t we do it outside?” Preparations were made hurriedly to move the stage outdoors.

From time to time a strong wind blew, but it was a mild spring day. The chirping of birds, the taking off and landing of airplanes, the creaking of the wood deck, the opening and shutting of doors, and Mr. Inoue’s saxophone which wound around like the wind, all seeming to be heard as one piece of music in complete harmony.

This was unearthed from a simple audio recording and certainly not high-quality sound, yet I hope you can feel the warm atmosphere.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us in releasing this. (F.S.L.)

Vayu by Toshihiko Inoue

Released in 2016 on Foot & Shoe as FSCJ-0011.

Japanese Names: Toshihiko Inoue 井上淑彦

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Feb 26, 2018 (Updated Jan 27, 2022)