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The Shibuya Takeshi Orchestra is one of the most singular, challenging and unusual jazz units in Tokyo. Many local groups strive for accomplished technique, pushing their instruments to the far edge of rapid-fire playing or polishing one style to perfection. The Shibuya Takeshi Orchestra, however, delights in a wild, unbridled style of collective jamming that relishes contradiction.

Since its inception in 1986, the nine-piece orchestra has performed regularly in Tokyo and recorded five CDs. Most of the members lead their own satellite groups and play regularly around town. But it was only recently that the orchestra’s longtime underground reputation has blossomed into wider recognition. This is due in most part to its leader, pianist Takeshi Shibuya. It was his influence that led the orchestra to pursue a rough, energetic approach that, though in the jazz world, is not quite of the jazz world.

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