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MAKI ASAKAWA

A stunning survey of the 1970s heyday of this great Japanese singer and countercultural icon. Deep-indigo, dead-of-night enka, folk and blues, inhaling Billie Holiday and Nina Simone down to the bone. A traditional waltz abuts Nico-style incantation; defamiliarised versions of Oscar Brown Jr and Bessie Smith collide with big-band experiments alongside Shuji Terayama; a sitar-led psychedelic wig-out runs into a killer excursion in modal, spiritual jazz. Existentialism and noir, mystery and allure, hurt and hauteur. With excellent notes by Alan Cummings and the fabulous photographs of Hitoshi Jin Tamura. Hotly recommended.


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