Alongside bands such as Toe, Fox Capture Plan and Mouse On The Keys, Kyoto-based four-piece band Jizue has all the fundamental qualities to work their way into the hearts of contemporary jazz, post-rock and math-rock enthusiasts.
Kyoto is the city of beauty in many ways – its historical culture, landscape and the people. One cannot help but imagine traces of Jizue’s close connection to the city being manifested in their wonderful blend of smooth melodic and harmonic ideas, minimalistic soundscapes and sumptuous jazz backdrop. This is true none more so than in ‘Sakura’ from their self-titled EP in 2009. This particular track uses Japanese pentatonic flavours in its opening piano solo, gradually building up in rhythmic energy and texture towards a final burst of sonic bliss full of bright guitar effects, piano harmonies and dazzling drum lines.
Similarly, ‘pray’ from their 2012 album Novel dreams up a delicate atmosphere with twinkling piano melodies high in the stratosphere, ambient-coloured guitars and a gentle pulse that slowly brews like cloud drifting through the sky. The track gradually plunges into a final coda driven by a dazzling electric guitar solo line, inciting the piano and drums to swell sonically and emotionally before dying down with a final few notes.
‘shiori’ relies on an even more minimalist core, rushing through an adrenaline-rushed propulsion mainly driven by perpetual piano figurations. The track streams through its harmonic progressions and textural variations like a seamless river, and the band navigates their way through a central section full of intricate rhythms, colourful timbres and rhapsodic passagework before preparing for a final rush and a militaristic drum line charging towards the tranquil conclusion.
Jizue’s enticing and forward-thinking musical ideas lend itself to multiple listens. Their strong passion for post-rock, contemporary jazz, and their desire to experiment will surely grab the attention of listeners craving for something different.