Exposé Online banner

Daimonji — Improg
(Musea FGBG 4522.AR, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

Improg Cover artWe really shouldn’t be surprised at the number of different projects involving keyboardist Hoppy Kamiyama and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida. After all, back in the 60s, nobody thought it was odd that Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams ended up on so many people’s records. Those two free agents are joined by bassist Nasuno Mitsuru for this set of improvised music, the offshoot of their warm-ups for another group that features them all, the Jun Togawa Band. Unlike much improvised music, they don’t really wander into anything resembling free jazz or typical droning rock jams, but manage a surprisingly coherent flow, with varying sections following each other spontaneously. They originally called themselves Improg, but eventually settled on Daimonji and gave their first album the old band name (they have since released a follow-up, which I have not yet heard). “Improg” suits the music perfectly, as it is improvised but sounds amazingly like progressive rock, mostly due to Kamiyama’s keyboard style; he relies heavily on electric piano and single-line synthesizer parts, and doesn’t often venture into pure atonality. Yoshida follows his lead telepathically with his characteristic loose-but-tight playing toned down a bit from his jazzier work or Ruins. Both Kamiyama and Yoshida indulge themselves from time to time with borderline goofy singing, and when they mimic the instrumental parts vocally the result is an illusion of pre-arrangement. The net result is an improvised album that could very well appeal to listeners who are not fond of improvised albums.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Tatsuya Yoshida, Hoppy Kamiyama, Daimonji

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chrome - Retro Transmission – After a lengthy hiatus, Helios Creed has returned with a new Chrome album. Having never heard a Chrome album before I cannot say if this is representative or not. I can tell you one major influence on...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues