Kyoto Jazz Massive

Kyoto Jazz Massive is a duo made up of brothers Shuya and Yoshihiro Okino.  No study of the Japanese underground would be complete without an entry on Kyoto Jazz Massive. They helped to shape the Japanese underground sound in the 90s and 2000s. Theirs is a hip and cool kind of jazz that lives in the nightclubs among the beats, vocals, and powerful instrumentals. They call the sound Cross-Over Jazz but I don’t think that description gives justice to the rich and complex music that arose under their skillful watch.

Shuya Okino is also the owner of the famous club, Room, in Shibuya.  Many artists in the underground jazz scene have been born from that club as it was almost a prerequisite spot to show and prove your chops as a DJ or live musician.  Although they are less common these days, live midnight jam sessions at Room where a magical brew of talented players who assembled to express themselves in the mode of the Tokyo Cross-Over Jazz style.

Currently Kyoto Jazz Massive are still very much active in the underground as DJs, music producers, and mentors to the next generation of Japanese greats.

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