The incomparable trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, passed away tragically and unexpectedly on October 17, 2020. He was looking forward to performing in Osaka the next day, and nobody dreamed that fateful day in October would be his last – least of all his family and legion of fans around the world. His sudden departure from this earth meant an abrupt end to the river of his creativity. However, recently, we, in his family discovered many unpublished songs and so, for the sake of keeping is spirit – and his music – alive his son Kota Kondo, President, Kondo Sound Body Laboratory Co. is looking to release some of his breathtaking, unpublished work on a 2-CD set.
Kota Kondo is the prime mover of this “Unpublished” Toshinori Kondo project. “A year ago, I never imagined that I would be the last one to see, talk, and spend time with my father, Toshinori Kondo,” the younger Kondo says. ”He was always intense. He was the eye of the typhoon for our family, very awkward in social situations yet an amazing musician who can make crazy awesome music,” the son says.
“After graduating from High School, he let me stay at his music studio in the Netherlands, and we traveled together to his shows all over the world. He let me shoot his performance ‘in the wild’. He lectured me throughout the frequent airplane rides. Sometimes we fought as well. After a while when I finally could start calling him ‘father’; we grabbed drinks together when we could , he let me vent about my jobs, and we talked hours about music, history and books,” Kota Kondo recounts.
“Tragically, I was the one who called the ambulance when I saw his eyes closed in the bathtub,” he continues, halting as if to recall the image. “Since then, so many people came up to me and talked about him, and it made me realize even more how amazing an artist he was. [So in his memory] we decided to do this crowd funding project because we want to deliver Toshinori’s unreleased recordings in CD format so that you – his die-hard fans can physically feel and sense him and his vivid music.
“So, dear music lovers who want to discover breathtaking new trumpet new sounds, and Toshinori Kondo fans, please support this project and let us share a little bit more about Toshinori’s undiscovered world,” Kota Kondo urges.
What’s on CD #1
Based on the tape labeled ”2020.8.18→”, we collected calm and ambient music. We are hoping that this will go well with helping you relax [as it did my father]… just hanging out in the living room or sitting outside to enjoy the breeze.
To listen the sample of the song “Nostalgia”, from an unedited mix please go to our crowd funding page.
What’s on CD #2
This is the complete live performance recording from the PIKADON show at Aoyama Spiral Hall back in 2005. Band members: Toshinori Kondo [electric -trumpet and tracks], Bill Laswell [bass], Hideo Yamaki [drums], Yoshinobu Kojima [keyboard]. The show was particularly vibrant as it also featured the painter Seitaro Kuroda’s live painting performance.
To listen samples from the PIKADON Live sound source please go to our crowd funding page.
The producers said that with the sound engineers, they are planning to convert these recordings into CD while keeping the best quality possible. They will also be working on the package design with the artists. The scheduled release is tentatively set for March 2022.
Last word from Kota Kondo:
“We are really trying to bring this project to life and by doing so, we are hoping that Toshinori’s songs will travel to you and even people who haven’t had a chance to experience his works. Many people cooperated in launching this crowd funding. I am very grateful to all of them. I would like to continue to save and manage Kondo’s sound source and release it to the world.
Music lovers and Toshinori fans out there, we really appreciate your funding support to make this happen. However we understand not everyone has the opportunity for making monetary donations. If you would still like to support us, please consider sharing the project with as many people as possible.
Kota Kondo, President, Kondo Sound Body Laboratory Co.
The link to the crowd funding page is here.