Thursday, December 21, 2017

Kazumi Watanabe - 1988 [2016] "The Spice Of Life Too"

The Spice of Life Too is an album by jazz fusion guitarist Kazumi Watanabe; featuring Bill Bruford, Jeff Berlin and Peter Vettese. It was released on the Gramavision record label in 1988. The original title released in Japan is "The Spice of Life 2" with a different cover.

Allmusic awarded the album with 4.5 stars and its review by Paul Kohler states: "A continuation of Spice of Life with stronger compositions and a hint of softer tones, it's very nice!"

I  am a big fan of Kazumi's '80s fusion stuff! and this is a very fine album, and a reasonably worthwhile follow-up to KW's original Spice of Life. it's not quite as good or as inspired as the original, but it was a fine album! just as I remember from the old vinyl album days, the first song of both side 1 and side 2 were the weakest tunes of the album, but the album greatly improved as each side went along...(and yes, I realize I am now listening to the CD). I forgot how much I enjoyed this album because I hadn't heard it in years...but this is a fine album overall! KW's fusion guitar work is still incredible. he kept Jeff Berlin on bass and Yes' Bill Bruford on drums in his band, remaniscent of the first Spice of Life, but he added a keyboard player on this album. I never heard of this guy before, but he was an impressive and curiously intriguing addition to the band. KW still has his delicate though rocking balance between jazz, heavy rock and a 'spicy' Japanese flavor to his music. If you like fusion, especially fusion guitar, I recommend looking into Kazumi Watanabe. his Japanese influence really does add a unique and fascinating, enjoyable feel to traditional fusion....and this is a good fusion album and a respecable follow-up to his original Spice of Life...but it's not as good as the original...but don't fault KW for that, because the original Spice was just a brilliant piece of fusion that can seldom be matched! but give this album a spin.

Track listing:

1. "Andre" (Kazumi Watanabe) – 5:10
2. "We the Planet" (Watanabe) – 5:20
3. "Fu Bu Ki " (Watanabe, Bill Bruford, Jeff Berlin) – 5:10
4. "Rain" (Watanabe) – 4:57
5. "Small Wonder" (Bruford) – 5:05
6. "Concrete Cow" (Watanabe, Berlin) – 5:22
7. "Kaimon" (Watanabe) – 5:35
8. "Men and Angels" ( Bruford) – 5:35


Kazumi Watanabe – guitars
Bill Bruford – Simmons SDX electronic drums
Jeff Berlin – bass
Peter Vettese – keyboards



  2. I love Watanabe's music ♥ Thanks for sharing ☺

  3. Thanks,man. Really good music. I like jazz fusion music!!

  4. Interesting... I have both albums from back in the day, and I find them both to be equally excellent. In fact, I might even almost prefer this second outing from this band. I guess it's all in the ears of the beholder, eh?

    Thanks for sharing, though. Great site!