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Spring Is Here
Ozone Played Standards, Why?
Date:29, Feb, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles



Spring Is Here
Released on April 22, 1987

CBS SONY

1. Beautiful Love
2. Spring Is Here
3. Someday My Prince will Come
4. On the Street Where You Live
5. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
6. My One and Only Love
7. O' Grande Amore
8. Tangerine


Hello. Today I'm talking about "Spring Is Here." It is a 1987 album of Ozone Makoto (1961-), a Japanese jazz pianist.

What's Ozone? He is a Japanese popular jazz pianist who debuted in 1984. In 1980, he moved to America for learning in the Berklee College of Music. He graduated at the No. 1 of his class in 1983. Oh! How nice! I can say he was a promising young pianist.

In the college, Gary Burton found Ozone. Do you know Gary? He is a popular jazz musician who has played with Stan Getz and Pat Metheny. Since 1971, he has taught at the college. He met Ozone, and produced several early studio albums (including "Spring Is Here") of Ozone.

Before releasing "Spring Is Here," Ozone released "Ozone"(1984), "After"(1985). And 1986 December, they recorded the songs of "Spring Is Here." Ozone had played his own songs he composed by himself before "Spring Is Here." However, he just played standard songs for it. Why?

In fact, this album was released nowhere but in Japan. "Ozone" and "After" were published also overseas, but "Spring Is Here" was domestically. Why? It is said these standards were recorded at the request of the Japan's recording company. Japanese people mostly prefer popular songs to unpopular ones. Naturally, unpopular were the songs composed by Ozone. So they called on Ozone to play some standard songs for Japanese listeners. Then, he played these with George Mraz (bass) and Roy Haynes (drums).

Do you know the lyrics of Spring Is Here? It sings like this.

 Spring is here
 Why doesn't the breeze delight me?
 Stars appear
 Why doesn't the night invite me?
 Maybe it's because nobody loves me
 Spring is here, I hear
 (Words by Lorenz Hart)

How? It sounds kind of bitter, doesn't it? How come Ozone named this album Spring Is Here? I think he felt bitter when he got the request from the Japan's recording company. No matter how hard he composed, no Japanese people welcomed. Probably, he sighed and said Good Grief. Needless to say, it does not mean he disliked to play standards. Every time I listen to this record, I am enchanted and feel so good.



Makoto Ozone Official Website




 

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