Otomo Yoshihide


Line up

Otomo Yoshihide el-g
Ruike Shinpei  tp
Osamu Imagome  tb
Hiroaki Mizutani  b
Yoshigaki Yasuhiro ds


Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Quintet (ONJQ) is a Japanese free jazz/experimental ensemble led by a composer, sound producer, turntablist and guitarist Otomo Yoshihide. What John Zorn means to the New York scene, Otomo Yoshihide means to the Japanese. Like an iconoclast, Otomo tackled the jazz repertoire, always with untold respect, virtuosity and skill.

After more than 100 releases, including eight with his Jazz Quintet, Otomo continues to search for a captivating balance between melodic structures and intense moments of improvisation.

In this, Eric Dolphy is one of his great heroes. The Quintet dedicated a record to Out to Lunch, Dolphy’s iconic album.

ONJQ toured across Europe, with stops in Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland, and participated in Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria, in November ’99. Now we are planning a unique and one-time-only comeback of the quintet to Europe in 2024.  These days Otomo rarely if ever tours, so seeing him live with his quintet again in Europe is an absolutely unique experience.



On May 25, the Otomo Yoshihide Special Big Band will start distributing their new mini-album “Stone Stone Stone” on their new label “Little Stone Records”!

This is the first album under the band’s name in six and a half years, and is a multi-lingual jazz-rock album with a hardcore taste, which is very different from their previous albums.

Recording of the album with the band members began in June 2020 during the Corona disaster. After more than a year of editing by Otomo and mixing by Shigeki Nakamura, the album was completed. The full album, scheduled for release this summer, will include a total of 9 songs, including 3 songs from the mini-album that will be distributed this time with different mastering. (The release date will be announced at a later date.)
The album jacket will be designed by Yuko Mohri, an artist whom Otomo admires, and designer Sei Suzuki. The newly launched Little Stone Records label will continue to release Otomo Yoshihide’s new and old albums on CD, analog, and digital formats, so please keep an eye on the label.



”Live at Shinjuku Pit Inn presents a more accessible side of Otomo’s activities, while confirming how, despite the unexpected success of Amachan, he continues to be a voracious, adventurous explorer of the musical unknown.”

Read a full review of the album Live at Shinjuku Pit Inn

Special Big Band is:

Otomo Yoshihide – guitar
Suzuki Hiroshi – saxophone
Egawa Ryoko – saxophone
Higashi Ryota – saxophone
Saito Kan – flute, piccolo flute
Inoue Nashie – clarinet, bass clarinet
Sato Shutoku – trumpet
Imagome Osamu – trombone
Kimura Jinya – tuba
Okuchi Shunsuke – accordion
Eto Naoko – piano, electric piano
Kondo Tatsuo – keyboards, harmonica
Kawai Shinobu – electric bass
Sachiko M – electronics, sinewaves
Kobayashi Takefumi – drums
Aikawa Hitomi – percussion
Uehara Nanae – marimba, percussion

Otomo Yoshihide is a musican with a direct approach. While his music has been truly wide-ranging ever since the early days of his career, there has been a common thread: he always approaches music in a straightforward way, based on a clear plan, without any ambiguity or concealment.

by Koji Murai, November 2015

(English translation: Cathy Fishman)