Until now Approach has not, according to BBE Music, been reissued in 36 years when it first came out.
The bassist Isao Suzuki - who hailed from Tokyo, recorded for such cult labels as Three Blind Mice, was in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the early-1970s and who died in 2022 - is in his Black Orpheus period (a Three Blind Mice trio album that had Donald Bailey on it).
But here in a bass, drums, keys, guitar setting the Approach line-up includes the pianist Hideo Ichikawa who worked on some Joe Henderson albums that included 1973's blisteringly compelling In Japan. Ichikawa comes over in a pastoral Keith Jarrett 1970s vein on 'Otari'. And yet he is even better when he goes free on 'Tornado.'
Suzuki's gritttily raw edge that characterises his sense of rugged beat has a thrusting, probing validity best experienced through the charisma of his ostinato flourish exhibited on 'East Words' - the longest and most absorbing piece. The drummer here Masahiko Togashi, who worked with free-jazz pioneer Paul Bley and the great Masabumi Kikuchi, is not an intrusive presence at all. But he certainly makes his presence felt in all the right places. Black Orpheus is a better record. But chances are you will be spirited into Suzuki's world if previously impervious or worse oblivious to it anyway.
Isao Suzuki, photo: Wikipedia