I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Soichi Noriki -- Noriki

Often glad when I'm proven least when it comes to the supposed rarity of albums. I was entranced by pianist Soichi Noriki's(野力奏一)"Do What You Do" with the vocal assist of Yurie Kokubu(国分友里恵). The song was included in his debut album "Noriki" which was released in November 1983 according to the liner notes, and I had lamented that the album was most likely so obscure that it was never put to CD. Well, as you can see above, it was actually very much purchasable...and for the low, low price of 1,000 yen! In a way, I kinda felt badly, though, since I think the album should have gotten a better and more respectable price.

Most of "Noriki" consists of instrumental tracks except for the aforementioned "Do What You Do" and the opening track here "You Need Me" whose lyrics were written by Dwight Waldron with the melody by Noriki. Once again, the bright vocals of Kokubu come into play. Not funky as was the case with "Do What You Do" but some nice sunny AOR nonetheless.

Noriki's jazzy, summery piano provide the backbone for "Anyway" with Haruo Sakai(酒井春雄)putting some extra meat on the bones with his saxophone. This is sitting-on-the-patio-overlooking-the-beach type of music. When I was once interested in the soundtracks for Japanese dramas, this would have been the sort of music that I would have relished as a character or mood enhancer.

Speaking of mood-enhancing, the final track "Go Over The Hill" starts off with a wonderfully creamy piano intro before going into a number reminiscent of going over that hill and seeing your beloved home with friends and family in the backyard getting ready for that end-of-week barbecue. Noriki makes such a welcoming melody for a goodbye track. Some fine sax and guitar solos as well. Get the cold beer ready!

No doubts here. "Noriki" is more than worth the yen I paid for it.

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