Exposé Online banner

Kenso — Sparta Naked
(Pathograph PA 3506, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Sparta Naked Cover art

Fans of Kenso will certainly be familiar with the band’s album Sparta from 1989, a bold step in a more jazz-rock / fusion direction following their first three studio and double-live albums, while still retaining much of their unique Japanese character – mostly in the songwriting of bandleader and guitarist Yoshihisa Shimizu. The songs are outstanding, many remaining in their live repertoire to this day. One might be led to think that with a title like Sparta Naked, this might be some kind of stripped down acoustic reworking of that material, but in fact that is definitely not the case. Instead, this is a completely reworked and remixed-from-the-ground-up version of the original Sparta, beginning with the conversion of the original analog tapes to digital. From there it was completely re-produced by Kenichi Mitsuda, one of the band’s keyboardists in the current lineup (and not a member at the time the original was recorded). Those recordings occurred over a transitional period of several years beginning in ’87, during which time the bassist and drummer changed, and time and finances presented challenges to completion. So what we have with Sparta Naked is a clarification of the intent of the original album’s release using the best technology available today. Everything about the original is improved, now cleaner, crisper, and better defined in the soundfield; everything in the mix can now be heard more clearly. A solo piano version of “Bifuka” (by Mitsuda) and recent live version of opener “Good Days, Bad Days” are added as bonus tracks.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Kenso

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

JPP - Artology – Just when you thought you'd had enough of Nordic fiddles, along comes this little gem from Finland. I like Scandinavian folk music as much as the next guy — probably more, actually — though I'll...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues