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Thread: 森(MORI/Forest) - J Jazz Fusion Band

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    森(MORI/Forest) - J Jazz Fusion Band

    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  2. #2

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    hey thanks for putting this up~ ! i realise i like jazz fusion alot after listening to casiopea, t-square but sadly i dont really have the time now to explore more of such music. can u introduce more such bands to me?

  3. #3

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    Actually, I don't know many such bands. I found Mori when I was searching for Hiroyuki Noritake - drummer of T Square and Sync DNA. He plays drums in Mori too.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  4. #4

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    This piece sounds like a makeup of the most alien notes coming together. But its awesome to me!

    Check it out!
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  5. #5

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    Here is a link to Mori's official website:

    All of the band members play jazz. Jazz is obviously evident in their playing. The pianist most obviously. However, you can also hear their classical background (cello & bass). All of them come to piece together this fusion band, which is fabulous to me!

    In their music, I find merticulous arrangements, played very precisely and exqusitely. I also love the tightness of the band. Their dynamics is really awesome in fast, complex songs or simple songs. The solos demonstrated in the DVDs are very facinating to watch (especially for the 2008 one). Solos are done by the pianist, the guitarist and the cellist. Most of the time, they will be accompanied with the drummer. Due to the drumming style of Hiroyuki (the drummer), the dynamics of the solos done by the various band members, especially Makoto, the pianist is greatly enhanced! I look forward to all the solos of Makoto because I think he's a really good pianist. His voicings gives the band the quirkiness I love. If you get the opportunity to watch the DVD, you can see that the other band members also enjoy his solos from their expressions.

    Some of their songs are rather complex in chord structures and voicings, unlike the common pop tunes. So, it might take a while to get used to their songs. I remembered that when I only like Bosque Inmenso (composer is Toru, the bassist) at first. That's the song of theirs on youtube that I found that got my attention. But after a while of listening to their Mori Live CD, I grew to love them.

    I realised that I never introduce them formally. Well, the band members are:

    Piano/Sax/Pianica/Keyboard: 青柳誠 Aoyagi Makoto

    Guitar: 越田太郎丸 Koshida Taroma

    Cello: 柏木広樹 Kashiwagi Hiroki

    Bass: 西嶋徹 Nijishima Toru
    Last edited by pf; 04-04-09 at 10:32 PM.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  6. #6

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    Mori Tour DVD

    One more band member...

    Drum: 則竹裕之 Noritake Hiroyuki

    And the whole band

    I finally got my hands on the Mori Life of the Forest DVD (2008 tour). Yay!

    Here's the track list from HMV Japan.
    1 Al Aire 2 Fuga 3 Moninho 4 Bossa Nova High 5 Pucchin Princess 6 トルコ行進曲 7 Sora Kara Mitara 8 Ameixa 9 Bosque Inmenso 10 Morning Beans 11 Where Is The Forest? 12 Chokumen 13 Chocolate 14 Tokuten Eizou: : Tour Document

    Some special highlights of the songs:
    1. You can watch track 1 here.

    2. Some of the songs are like track 1, quirky and unique which I love such as Pucchin Princess, Sora Kara Mitara, Bosque Inmenso, Chokumen and Chocolate. But there is also a strong bossa nova flavour, light hearted ones in tracks such as Moninho, Bossa Nova High, Ameixa and Morning Beans

    I really like those bossa nova pieces where Makoto plays the pianica. He gives a light refreshing feel.

    3. Fuga and Where is the Forest? is more towards pop. Nice and pleasing melody.
    There is one part towards the ending of Fuga where the cello, guitar and piano are all playing different melodies...the arrangement is beautiful. Very orchastral like.

    4. At トルコ行進曲, Mori forms a 5-part boy choir. Its very very funny to watch and really amazing! The arranger is Makoto, the pianist who is really wonderful.

    5. Chocolate is the encore song. Makoto, Hiroki and Koshida all had their solos respectively. This one is totally cool. I don't want to give any spoilers...but well, to arouse interest...let's just say, this is the first time I saw a cellist capable of doing limbo rock while playing the cello.

    Here's the track listing of Mori's 森 LIVE DVD (2005 tour) from Amazon Japan:
    1. Voz da Floresta/柏木広樹 2. Eurostar/則竹裕之 3. Niwaka Ame/西嶋徹 4. Absurdity/青柳誠 5. Sobre as Nascencas/越田太郎丸 6. A Day In Blue/則竹裕之 7. bosque inmenso/西嶋徹 8. Only Tune/青柳誠 9. 7th Lock/越田太郎丸 10. Casa Feliz/柏木広樹 11. 航海記/柏木広樹

    Just a quick comparison. The 2008 tour DVD consists of original songs of the band members for the band. In the 2005 DVD, most of the songs are original of the band members but for their own individual album or their other bands.

    In 2005, the band probably have not really found their own voice yet. But in 2008, they did it. Their voice is unique, quirky and full of surprises! I think the first display of their voice should be in Bosque Inmenso. Well, this is the first song that I saw them play on Youtube and immediately love them because of this.

    Part 1
    Part 2

    They seemed to have much more chemistry in 2008. Sparks flying all over that kind. And they are all smiling while they play, which is good coz I like to watch musicians enjoy themseleves while they play.

    Another good thing about the recent DVD is the editing is very well done. The eye contact between members, the facial expressions at certain moments, flying fingers are captured very nicely.

    Ok...I shall stop here. Once I remember anything, I'll do an edit.
    Last edited by pf; 31-05-09 at 01:30 AM.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  7. #7

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    If somebody knows what's going on in these clips, please enlighten me?
    Last edited by pf; 13-04-09 at 09:04 PM.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  8. #8

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    More youtube links added.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  9. #9

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    Up Close with Kashiwagi Hiroki

    I went to Tokyo last month and attended several gigs. Most of the gigs are of course with Mori's members in them. I couldn't go on 31 March when they had their Thanksgiving gig at STB.

    First gig first, is a bossa nova gig with Kashiwagi Hiroki.

    The band's name is Sem Voce Check out this youtube clip of that night. Hiroki played the bass parts with the cello in this bossa nova band. He had a nice melodic solo in the middle.

    As you can see in the clip, its a really nice and cozy restaurant. Very relax feel.

    In this clip, Hiroki started off with a nice intro. The vocalist sings really fine...but makes me sleepy at times. hehe...This song reminds me of Disney cartoons. Maybe its how Hiroki played the cello.

    I had a hard time locating the place and finding out how to make reservations for the ticket. Almost all the gigs in Tokyo (or those I went to) requires advance reservation. Thank God, my friend helped me to do some leg work in making the reservations.

    Ok...then came the time for the gig. Its sooooo difficult to find that restaurant!!! I walked a lot! A LOT!!

    And with aching and tired feet, I finally found Rakuya. Thankfully, the staff knows some English. They're able to direct me to Hiroki and lend me (a poorly prepared fan) a magic pen for his autograph.

    When I approached Hiroki, he was talking to a gentleman at a table. I politely waited for a chance to speak and introduced myself in Japanese. Not bad, from my lessons 10 years ago.

    His reaction was not what I expected of my "idol". He almost fainted. Yup!

    He ran down to the basement and got his mobile. Checked his email and asked if it was me who emailed him. Did I email him? I forgot....Yeah, I emailed Hiroki! I thought he had a manager to read his emails and hopefully can enlighten me on the mystery of japanese gig reservation thingy. Then I remembered I got a polite email saying they're not in charge of ticket sales.

    Anyways! He was shocked and happy that I went all the way from Singapore to watch his gig. He was nice and polite. Very glad to autograph for me. During the intermission, he came to my table and asked if I'm enjoying myself. He also appologised for his poor command of English and was not able to chat more. Nice and polite, typical of a Japanese.

    I supposed Hiroki was not confident of his English, so he showed Steve Sacks (Sem Voce's band leader) my email. Then we got chatting for a while before the gig and during the intermission. He said its rare that he speaks English in Japan, so we got talking. I love talking to musicians. hehe...and he invited me to his Big Band gig the following day. Very nice of him to get me a free ticket! Yay! Another gig I went for...that another story though...

    I enjoyed myself at the bossa gig and satisfied to watch Hiroki performed live. The music charge is 2,500 Yen. A very very decent price for the quality of music. The food is just so so, but the focus is on the music anyway.

    Coming up next, up close with Nijishima Toru...
    Last edited by pf; 27-04-09 at 09:28 AM.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

  10. #10

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    Up Close with Nijishima Toru

    If you had paid attention to my posts up there, you would have noticed that the song I'm so crazy about, Bosque Inmenso, is written by Nijishima Toru. This makes me so wanna meet him and tell him how much I like his composition!!

    Well, that night, he played at the Ginza Swing City (translated an expensive Jazz Club) with 青木カレン (Awesome vox!), 井上 ゆかり(piano and pianica - excellent player!) 藤井 伸昭(drums).

    I went for the 2nd half of the gig because I was at Steve Sack's big band gig earlier. Yes, I was at 2 gigs that night...whew!

    As usual, this Ginza Swing City is at a small hidden place which keeps me circling the blocks for a while before a nice lady passerby took me there herself. When I was at the door, immediately, I was told that the music charge was 3,000 over Yen + I had to order a meal. Well, that's Ginza for you.

    Boy was I intimidated when I got in. This place is one serious jazz club. Among the audience, I see mostly males in their 40s to 50s all tapping their fingers or clapping to the swingy beat. There were less than 5 ladies among them. And that includes 2 madames to men in suits who looks like they are from Yakuza.

    The tiny little club was full. They squeezed me into a seat on a grand piano. Yes. The club has 2 grand pianos. 1 was played by the pianist and the other was seated with audience. And I ate a yummy pasta on it!

    Good gosh! The pasta was good! The music was good too! In between mouthfuls of pasta, I had to stop and clap my hands heartily and shout my appreciations.

    As the audience was mostly male, it is quite rowdy. They seemed to be very knowledgeable audience. They clap in synchronized manner to the syncopated swing, suggest titles for the band to play, etc. Impressive! I bet the band enjoyed playing for such appreciative audience.

    As the place is very small, the audience was seated right in front of the band. It was fabulously up close and personal.

    The band played really well. Of course, Toru did not disappoint me. He belted out melodic bass solos for a couple of songs. I like his style very much, considering I was terribly impressed just a few days before I watched Mark Johnson with Eliane Elias at the Esplanade. It was the first time I heard a bassist played such a melodic solo. Then in Japan, I get the chance to hear Toru do it. I was very happy.

    After the gig, I went up to Toru for his autograph. It's a good thing the Japanese waitresses are always prepared with a magic pen for fans like me.

    Of course, another chance for me to practice my Japanese. I introduced myself and told him his composition was great. He was very surprised and asked me where I got Mori's DVD from. The DVD is not sold anywhere outside Japan. I told him that I had to order from HMV and got them to deliver to the place I stayed in Tokyo.

    Toru spoke fluent English (although kinda rusty, who can blame him?). I told him how I found Mori played Bosque Inmenso on youtube and immediately like them. I suggested to him to put more vids on but he explained that they have a contract with the record company and couldn't do that.

    He was nice and pleasant as well. Hiroki told him that I'm learning the piano, so he wished me all the best!

    NEXT! Up close with Noritake Hiroyuki...
    Last edited by pf; 28-04-09 at 12:18 AM.
    Let me hear the melodies of heaven.

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