Formed in 1987 at Tokyo's University of Meiji, instrumental quartet Happy Family describe their music as chamber jazz-rock driven by the fast and heavy rhythms of hard rock. Reference points include Magma, Univers Zero, and Henry Cow, but Happy Family stake out their own turf with their stunning, sometimes furious, intensity. Founding members Kenichi Morimoto (keyboards), Shigeru Makino (guitar), and Tatsuya Miyano (electric fretless bass) were joined by drummer Keiichi Nagase in 1990. This lineup issued several tapes before releasing Happy Family on the Cuneiform label in 1995. Takahiro Izutani replaced Makino, bringing a grittier sound to the group's second CD, Toscco, which Cuneiform released in 1997. Morimoto, himself a fan of jazz-rock, chamber rock, and avant rock, was credited with composing much of the group's material. On the ...
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