A1. June Night Love
A2. Twist To Open
B1. JFK Express
B2. Sea-born Mind
B4. Becoming To You
★With Japanese obi-strip
Recent years have seen a resurgence in popularity for Japanese jazz fusion, with YouTube videos and Spotify streams attracting millions of listeners. An essential, if underrated, part of that scene was Jun Miyake, whose debut album, June Night Love (1983) featured some of Japan’s most talented jazz musicians playing some of the finest jazz fusion of the 80s.
Jun Miyake’s second album, Especially Sexy (1984), is a continuation of what he started with June Night Love. It opens with “June Night Love” (oddly enough, the song was not featured on the album of the same name), a glitzy fusion track, in which Miyake’s mellow flugelhorn playing soars over mellow strings and vocal harmonies. Miyake’s trumpet gives way to the unmistakable saxophone of David Sanborn, whose style of playing practically defined an era!
But Sanborn is hardly the only noticeable guest on the album. “Twist to Open”, features the one and only Michael Brecker, playing with the ferocity and technical prowess of a man who would inspire a generation of saxophonists. All the hallmarks of great fusion are immediately apparent, with slap bass, horn choruses, and twinkly synths aplenty. B-side opener “JFK Express” sees another solo from Brecker, who trades choruses with Miyake over a smooth synthesizer groove. Miyake’s playing is decidedly different from Randy Brecker’s, yet there’s no doubt that Miyake and Michael have a chemistry that’s hard to beat.
Fans of Miyake’s softer side will find plenty to love on the album as well, with album closer “Becoming To You” once again showing off Miyake’s sensitive flugelhorn playing. He’s backed by an all-star rhythm section of Roland Hanna (pf.), Al Foster (ds.), and Ron Carter (b.), whose smooth acoustic jazz is in sharp contrast to the electrifying fusion that prefaced it. Yet Miyake’s playing remains consistent throughout, and with support from some of the biggest names in jazz across all eight tracks, there’s no doubt that all fans of jazz will find something to love on this album. Reissued for the first time ever, we’ve replicated the original liner notes and booklet to get as close to the original as possible.
Make sure you don’t miss this fantastic record, available only from P-VINE RECORDS!