Ozella Music Shunsuke Mizuno : Slow Time (JAP,2004)****
This is an unusual kind of jazz, firstly in its mentality, led by 5-string wood double bass player Shunsuke Mizuno. I've never had such a meditative feeling with jazz and fusion as I do here, especially on the tracks without piano, because the piano gives the music a different simple melancholy. All tracks with the harp-with-acoustic-guitar-like additional 22-string koto by Miwa Inaba give them a kind of beautiful fusion I also have not heard before. I think Miwa's playing is unusual. On "Rain in the Distance", the first track, the tune almost sounds Celtic.
On a few tracks we hear a few additional instruments, like (simple romantic) piano, by Shigeru Sawamura, acoustic guitar by Hiroki Miyano, harmonica, by Chikara Tsuzuki, tan-kin (a charcoal instrument) (?), hitiriki, played by Aya Motohashi and on many places sparse percussion by Ryo Watanabe.
Shunsuke Mizuno seems also to led an interesting new acoustic (world crossover) Japanese music label called OCM Records. His motto is to heal the heart with music. In many tracks here this is entirely successful. A few other tracks give me certain sadness. I have this also on the last track, "Beech Forest" especially because of the sound of the hitiriki combined with piano, but at the same time it reflects beauty.