Hajime Yoshizawa

Hajime Yoshizawa

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Stage name: 吉澤 はじめ (Yoshizawa Hajime)

Hajime is part of a Japanese renaissance in jazz viewed through the eyes of modern dance music, post London acid jazz, often termed 'nu-jazz'. Best exemplified since artists like the United Future Organization in the early-mid '90s.

Cosmic Village, a band consisting of Hajime with four other members (including one of the Okino brothers, Shuya Okino, who set-up Especial Records with brother Yoshi later formed the Kyoto Jazz Massive), was the formative platform for his keyboard playing and production talents defining the nu-jazz territory of the late '90s as it went. Cosmic Village releases, like a cover LP of Yellow Magic Orchestra tunes titled "Nice Age" have lead through to a more recent track "Free" done for "The Room 10th Anniversary" project. Various production credits on small releases led to the amazing highlight in a 12-inch called "Ai-No-Kawa/Resurrection" on Especial Records. On this 12, whilst one of the tracks was under the name 'Hajime Yoshizawa' the other was under the name 'Sleep Walker', but both are straight jazz numbers.

From here we get his next projects. The Sleep Walker band kept the straight ahead jazz project going, whereas productions under his own name tend to head towards more of an electronic soulful nu-jazz perspective.

'Hajime Yoshizawa' monikered projects include an LP for Far Out Records' offshoot label Solaria entitled "Violet Lounge", remixes galore on various labels, plus more 12's on Especial Records under the name Hajime Yoshizawa leading to the CD only release "Hajime Yoshizawa", which grouped the 12's done for Especial Records together with new material.

'Sleep Walker' moniker, however, culminated in the self-titled LP "Sleep Walker".

A note should also be made about another moniker of his 'Electric Sheep', first used as a self-done remix name on a Cosmic Village 12-inch "You Can See The Light". Originally more of a beat heavy sound, more recent use of this moniker has resulted in more of an ambient sound/experimental project along the lines of fellow Japanese producer Calm (aka Farr) productions. The track "Amniotic" is worth hearing, as is another from the Shibuya HMV 5th anniversary 12-inch called "Naked Noon". And three remixes of note: one for the Jackson 5 remixes project (vol.2); one done for Jazzanova's "Takes You Back" featuring Lori Fine, released on Jazzanova's "In Between EP" on Sony SMEJ Japan only CD single (later put on the Jazzanova "Remixed" CD -not on the vinyl edition unfortunately, in fact never put out on vinyl, come to think of it !?); and the third one done for Riviera's "Never Stay Long", put out on Japanese label Philter Records on a five track remixes 12-inch, and a remixes CD.

His latest Sleep Walker 12-inch "The Voyage/Into The Sun" features Pharoah Sanders on sax and Bembe Segue on vocal duty.
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Hajime Yoshizawa Discography Tracks

Albums

ah um 008 Hajime Yoshizawa Hajime(CD, Album) Ah Um ah um 008 UK 1991 Sell This Version
Hajime Yoshizawa Violet Lounge (Album) Solaria UK 2001 Sell This Version
UICZ-3010 Hajime Yoshizawa Hajime Yoshizawa(CD, Album) Universal UICZ-3010 Japan 2002 Sell This Version
Hajime Yoshizawa Music From The Edge Of The Universe (Album) Geneon Japan 2005 Sell This Version
GNCL-1065 Hajime Yoshizawa Echo From Another Side Of The Universe(CD, Album) Geneon GNCL-1065 Japan 2006 Sell This Version
VIA-0070 Hajime Yoshizawa Japan(CD, Album) Village Again VIA-0070 Japan 2008 Sell This Version
VIA-0073 Hajime Yoshizawa Innocent Nocturne(CD, Album) Village Again VIA-0073 Japan 2008 Sell This Version
ZLCP 0178 Hajime Yoshizawa Inner Illusions(CD, Album) Village Again ZLCP 0178 Japan 2014 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

ESP-001 Hajime Yoshizawa / Sleep Walker Hajime Yoshizawa / Sleep Walker - Ai-No-Kawa / Resurrection(12") Especial Records ESP-001 Japan 2000 Sell This Version
Hajime Yoshizawa Secret Flight Especial Records Japan 2001 Sell This Version
ESP-003 Hajime Yoshizawa Endless Bow(12") Especial Records ESP-003 Japan 2001 Sell This Version
Hajime Yoshizawa I Am With You (Single) Especial Records Japan 2002 Sell This Version
Hajime Yoshizawa Verao No Ar (Maxi) Especial Records Japan 2004 Sell This Version
Hajime Yoshizawa European Edition Volume One Especial Records UK 2004 Sell This Version
LPR-465 Hajime Yoshizawa Waltz for Jason "Limited Edition"(CD, Single, Promo) Geneon Entertainment Inc. LPR-465 Japan 2005 Sell This Version
ESP-014 Hajime Yoshizawa Music From The Edge Of The Universe Sampler(12", Smplr) Especial Records ESP-014 Japan 2005 Sell This Version
ESP-019 Hajime Yoshizawa Echo From The Other Side Of The Universe Sampler(12", Smplr) Especial Records ESP-019 Japan 2006 Sell This Version
ESP-032 Hajime Yoshizawa Japan Album Sampler EP(12", Smplr, EP) Especial Records ESP-032 Japan 2008 Sell This Version
MUCOBANANA-1 GoRo / Hajime Yoshizawa GoRo / Hajime Yoshizawa - Banana Connection 1(12") Rambling Records MUCOBANANA-1 Japan Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

VICP-62915 Jazzida Grande, Free Tempo, Hajime Yoshizawa, Asako Toki, PE'Z, Studio Apartment, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions Jazzida Grande, Free Tempo, Hajime Yoshizawa, Asako Toki, PE'Z, Studio Apartment, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions - Tokyo Nu-School Of Jazz(CD, Comp) Victor VICP-62915 Japan 2005 Sell This Version

Miscellaneous

LPR-523 Hajime Yoshizawa Sweet Way (Moog Solo Version)(CD, Promo, Smplr) Geneon LPR-523 Japan 2006 Sell This Version
none Hajime Yoshizawa Special Aampler(CDr) Not On Label none Japan Unknown Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 2 Reviews

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jimthing

jimthing

November 12, 2004
edited over 13 years ago
Not only is he one of Japan's best electronic producers, but like Ryota Nozaki (aka Jazztronik), hear him playing piano on any of his Sleep Walker releases and you will truely understand just why he can get the likes of Pharoah Sanders to play sax with the band on the lastest release.
Quality assured accross all his projects.
...if you see them in a shop, purchase immediately !
glenvira

glenvira

February 20, 2003
This guy is a real genius! I really havent have the chance to listen to the latest album called "Hajime Yoshizawa".
"violet Lounge" n "Spiritual African Nova" are unbelievable!
The music is very positive n rich in instrument.
Definitely a guy you have to watch out!!

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