KAZUTOKI UMEZU “KIKI”BAND, It’s difficult to categorize . It may be newest type of Jazz Rock. It’s sound like progressive rock. They like unusual beat. But basically it must be jazz. If you listen the rhythm, you’ll feel rock ,and if you follow the melody you feel like listening ethnic music. And each solo performances are very powerful ,heart felt and interesting. Now their music and partnership is very tight and full of energy. Everybody who had heard “KIKI”BAND, think it’s real sensational band !
“KIKI” was formed by Kazutoki Umezu at 1999 for the tour to Africa. This time he didn’t have main band in Japan. He really wanted to make a band have strong power and various musical sense as small members. So he chose these 3 musicians.
KIDO NATSUKI (born in1964) is the most important guitarist in Japanese progressive rock scene. Also he plays avant-garde improvisation music and other hand he joins to play tango or ethnic folk song. At first everybody will be surprised his guitar technique, but soon they will understand his emotional musical sense.
He has been playing with his own band “BONDAGE FRUIT”,”PERE-FURU””COIL”and all acoustic band”WARE HOUSE”.Also he is producing his own label”Maboroshi no Sekai”.
“BONDAGE FRUIT”was invited by “Scandinavian Progressive Rock Festival”in 1998 and “Prog Fest ’99” at San Francisco.In 2002 Richard Sinclair chose Kido for his Japanese unit. He is also a great composer, he offers some compositions to “KIKI”.
HAYAKAWA TAKEHARU (born in 1954) is well-known player as a bassist of “Dr UMEZU BAND” and “SHIBUSA SHIRAZU”.He has been playing with UMEZU since 1978 “SEIKATSU KOJO IINKAI ORH”. His debut was early 70th as a genius jazz bassist when he was high school student.
But he wasn’t satisfied to play only jazz ,he started to play electric bass and play R&B, Funk, Pop and Rock music. He always keep the rhythm so tight and makes own groove with Niida’s drum. It makes solo players feel so freely. Plus his solo playing is powerful and makes unique effective sound. Nobody can play like him. Although he has his own band “HAYAKAWA”,he is always busy to play with various musicians like Satoko Fujii, Coil and so on. That’s why many musicians want to have him as their bassist.
By the way he is also famous as a bicyclist. Also he offers some compositions to “KIKI”.
NIIDA KOZO(born in 1953) is the master of rock drummer. He had been playing in “RC SUCCESSION” that was the most famous rock band at 80th in Japan and Jun Togawa’s”YAPOOZ”.
He is still playing rock with Koichi Makigami’s “HIKASU” .And made his own grope “Drummers” that is made up only several rock Drummers. Not only playing rock ,but also he learn many type of drumming , jazz, Latin, polka and African rhythm. He showed many style for “SHAKUSHAIN”or”KOMATCHA KLEZMER”. Specially he interests Asian music like Bali. So he always put something new idea for “KIKI”s rhythm section. Of cause it comes on basic deep beat.