Kazumi Watanabe

Kazumi Watanabe — 渡辺香津美 (born Oct. 14, 1953) — is a Japanese jazz-rock guitarist who has been active since the early 1970s, recording his first album at age 17 for Express in 1971. Between 1975 and 1996, he released one-to-two albums per year on Better Days, DOMO, and other labels. During the early 1980s, he led the namesake Kazumi Band for a two-album stint. He has played on albums by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sadao Watanabe, Taeko Ohnuki, Shigeharu Mukai, Jun Fukamachi, and numerous others compatriots.


Watanabe was born in Tokyo, where he took up piano at age seven. He switched to guitar at age 12, when he studied under jazz guitarist Sadanori Nakamure at the Yamaha Music School. Watanabe devoted himself to jazz at age 15 after hearing the music of American post-bop guitarist Wes Montgomery.


Discography:

  • Infinite (1971)
  • Mudari (1975)
  • Endless Way (1975)
  • Milky Shade (1976)
  • Olive’s Step (1977)
  • Guitar Work Shop (1977 • 大村憲司, 渡辺香津美, 森園勝敏 & 山岸潤史)
  • Concierto de Aranjuez (1978 • Aranjuez)
  • Kaleidoscope (1978)
  • Lonesome Cat (1978)
  • Mermaid Boulevard (1978)
  • Village in Bubbles (1978)
  • Kylyn (1979)
  • Kylyn Live (1979)
  • To chi ka (1980)
  • Dogatana (1981 • Kazumi Watanabe)
  • Talk You All Tight (1981)
  • Mobo (1983)
  • Mobo II (1984)
  • Mobo Club (1985)
  • Mobo Splash (1985)
  • Mobo Live (1985)
  • The Spice of Life (1987)
  • The Spice of Life Too (1988)
  • Kilowatt (1989)
  • Pandora (1992 • 渡辺香津美 [Kazumi Watanabe] / Resonance Vox)

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