Bill Wells & Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Osaka Bridge


Sold Out

Notify me when this product is available:

Originally released in May 2006 through the German label Karaoke Kalk, »Osaka Bridge« was an album that captured the joyful amateurism of Tori Kudo's free-spirited Japanese collective Maher Shalal Hash Baz and Bill Wells’ rich, wistful and easy sense of melody. Approaching brass band and jazz music with a knack for making playing imperfectly feel perfectly right, »Osaka Bridge« became nothing short of groundbreaking when it was released to critical acclaim, becoming an instant classic among musicians and fans alike. Coinciding with the release of the second LP of Wells’ on-going collaboration with Danielle Price on tuba, »The Sensory Illusions«, Karaoke Kalk makes this highly sought-after record available again on vinyl for the first time in 16 years.

The pairing of the prolific Scottish pianist and composer and the fluctuating collective active since the mid-1980s was an easy, natural one—a union particularly apt and complementary. But this is not to say that the 15 recordings which made up »Osaka Bridge« were in any way seamless. The horns played by these self-taught musicians strain and struggle with Wells’ luscious arrangements; each note is given all the stiff emphasis that you’d expect of a high school brass band at its first rehearsal. Songs fall in and out of rhythm, and a track like »Poxy« misses its intended swing feel by a country mile. Of course, this is all part of the magic. Maher Shalal Hash Baz take Wells’ melodies and strip them back to their emotional core, disallowing all artifice and revealing a stark, serene beauty.

As someone put it so aptly in a Discogs comment a few years back, »this is the album which is able to make aliens understand what humankind is about.« You better turn up the volume so that everyone can hear it everywhere.
    Release Date: 06 Feb 23 Cat No: Kalk044LP