Kazumi Watanabe (Japanese: 渡辺 香津美, Hepburn: Watanabe Kazumi, born October 14, 1953 in Tokyo) is a Japanese guitarist. Other guitarists such as Luke Takamura and Sugizo have cited him as an influence.
|Born||October 14, 1953|
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion|
|Labels||Columbia, Denon, Gramavision, Warner|
Watanabe learned guitar at the age of 12 from Sadanori Nakamure at the Yamaha Music School in Tokyo. He released his first album in 1971. In 1979, he formed a jazz rock band with some of Japan's leading studio musicians, and recorded the album Kylyn. During that year, he toured with the pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra.
In the 1980s, he toured as guest soloist with Steps, the Brecker Brothers, and Word of Mouth, led by Jaco Pastorius. Watanabe created the jazz-rock/jazz-fusion band Mobo in 1983 with Mitsuru Sawamura (saxophone), Ichiko Hashimoto (piano), Gregg Lee (bass), Shuichi Murakami (drums), and Kiyohiko Senba.
During the eighties Watanabe released the jazz-rock albums To Chi Ka (1980), Mobo Club (1983), Mobo Splash (1985), and Spice of Life (1987). A DVD was issued from the tour which featured drummer Bill Bruford and bassist Jeff Berlin, who also played on the record.
In the 1990s Kazumi assembled an all-Japanese line-up called Resonance Vox (Vagabonde Suzuki on bass, Rikiya Higashihara on drums, Tomohiro Yahiro on percussion). This band has released several adventurous fusion albums.
- Infinite (Express, 1971)
- Endless Way (Columbia, 1975)
- Monday Blues (RCA, 1976)
- Milky Shade (Union, 1976)
- Olive's Step (Better Days, 1977)
- Guitar Work Shop (Flying Dog, 1977)
- Lonesome Cat (Denon, 1978)
- Kaleidoscope (Denon, 1978)
- Mermaid Boulevard (Alfa, 1978)
- Tokyo Joe (Denon, 1978)
- Village in Bubbles (Better Days, 1978)
- Kylyn (Better Days, 1979)
- Kylyn Live (Better Days, 1979)
- To Chi Ka (Better Days, 1980)
- Dogatana (Denon, 1981)
- Mobo (Domo, 1984)
- Mobo I (Gramavision, 1984)
- Mobo II (Gramavision, 1984)
- Mobo Live (Domo, 1985)
- Mobo Splash (Domo, 1985)
- The Spice of Life (Domo, 1987)
- The Spice of Life Too (Gramavision, 1988)
- Kilowatt (Gramavision, 1989)
- Romanesque (Domo, 1990)
- Pandora (Polydor, 1991)
- Esprit (Domo, 1996)
- Dandyism (Domo, 1998)
- One for All (EmArcy, 1999)
- Beyond the Infinite (Dozo, 2001)
- Guitar Renaissance (EWE, 2003)
- Mo' Bop II (East Works, 2004)
- Guitar Renaissance II (EWE, 2005)
- Guitar Renaissance III (EWE, 2006)
- Kaihogen (Cube, 2006)
- Guitar Renaissance IV (EWE, 2007)
- Acoustic Flakes (EWE, 2009)
- Jazz Impression (EWE, 2009)
- Tricoroll (EWE, 2011)
- Mo' Bop III (EWE, 2011)
- Guitar Renaissance V (EWE, 2012)
- Live at Iridium (EWE, 2012)
- Spinning Globe (Warner, 2013)
- En Vivo! (Victor, 2015)
- Gracim (Warner, 2016)
- Lotus Night (Warner, 2016)
- 渡辺 香津美
- Kazumi Watanabe Biography – ARTISTdirect Music
- 聖飢魔II30th Anniversary ルーク篁参謀／ジェイル大橋代官 Guitar Magazine Special Edition. Rittor Music. 2015. p. 98. ISBN 9784845627134.
- "SUGIZO、亡くなった恩師「DEAD END」足立祐二さんに捧げる魂のギター「大切なメッセージを込めた」". Encount (in Japanese). December 24, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
- Iwanami, Yozo; Sugiyama, Kazunori; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Vol. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 886. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
- "コロムビア LPファクトリー／渡辺香津美／KYLYN". Archived from the original on September 26, 2010.
- "Mo'bop, Vol. 3 - Kazumi Watanabe, Kazumi Watanabe New Electric Trio". Retrieved March 31, 2022 – via www.allmusic.com.