Indigo jam unit

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indigo jam unit
Origin Osaka, Japan
Genres Jazz, Nu jazz,
Years active 2005–present
Labels basis records
Associated acts Flexlife, Percussion Session, Yoshichika Tarue, Karen Aoki
Members Yoshichika Tarue
Katsuhiko Sasai
Isao Wasano
Takehiro Shimizu

Indigo Jam Unit (stylised as indigo jam unit) are a Japanese jazz band formed in the city of Osaka, Japan in 2005.[1]


  • Yoshichika Tarue (樽栄嘉哉?), born July 9, 1974 - piano
  • Katsuhiko Sasai (笹井克彦?), born December 6, 1976 - double bass
  • Isao Wasano (和佐野功?), born September 25, 1979 - percussion, drums
  • Takehiro Shimizu (清水勇博?), born March 27, 1983 - drums



Indigo Jam Unit, a quartet, originated out of a trio consisting of Yoshichika Tarue (piano), Katsuhiko Sasai (double bass), and Isao Wasano (percussion and drums).[3] In 2005, the trio had been playing live and working with different member setups when they started working with independent record label producer Kenichi Tateiwa of Basis Records, who suggested they add Takehiro Shimizu on drums to the line up. Shimizu joined the band in the months leading up to the recording of their first album, DEMONSTRATION, in August 2005. Shimizu currently (November, 2011) divides his time between Osaka, Japan, and New York City, NY.[4]

Indigo Jam Unit is often grouped together with other bands from the Japanese jazz and nu jazz scene, such as Quasimode, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, and Sleepwalker among others. Indigo Jam Unit have distinguished themselves with a twin drum line up where Shimizu contributes the jazzier rhythms and drum solos while Wasano adds a heavier straight beat and percussion.[5]

Indigo Jam Unit always record their material live in the studio with little post processing and as few effects as possible. No edits or overdubs are made to their recordings.[6] The only exception is their 2009 release re:common on Rambling Records, featuring American hip-hop artist Common and hip-hop/soul artist Mary J. Blige's original voice tracks with indigo jam unit's instrumental tracks added separately.

Indigo Jam Unit have recorded and performed together with Japanese jazz vocalist Karen Aoki (SUMMERTIME feat. Indigo Jam Unit, 2008), label mates Flexlife (Vintage Black, 2009), and Trinidadian vocalist Alicia Saldenha (ROSE, 2011).

In September–October 2009 Indigo Jam Unit were featured in Tower Record's No Music, No Life poster series in Japan.[7] The poster was shared with DJ Tatsuo Sunaga.


Studio Albums (original material)[edit]

  • 2006: 2x2
  • 2007: REALism
  • 2008: Pirates
  • 2009: Collectivity
  • 2010: Roots
  • 2011: DEMONSTRATION - Remastered (Re-issue of DEMONSTRATION with two additional tracks).
  • 2012: REBEL
  • 2013: Milestone
  • 2014: indigo jam unit
  • 2015: Lights

Studio Albums (cover songs/remixes)[edit]

  • 2009: Vintage Black (Cover album with Flexlife)
  • 2009: re:common (Cover/re-mix album)
  • 2011: ROSE (Cover album featuring Alicia Saldenha)
  • 2013: impression (Cover album. Japan only release)[8][9]


  1. ^ "Indigo jam unit official web site profile". 
  2. ^ "indigo jam unit Official web site profile". 
  3. ^ "Ima, tokushu chumoku no bodaresu doramatachi". Rhythm & Drums (Japan). February 2008: 143–145. 
  4. ^ "Interview Takehiro Shimizu indigo jam unit". Rhythm & Drums (Japan). October 2011: 56–57. 
  5. ^ "Ima, tokushu chumoku no bodaresu doramatachi". Rhythm & Drums (Japan). February 2008: 143–145. 
  6. ^ "Tokyo Jazz Notes - "Five Questions For indigo jam unit"". 
  7. ^ "Tower Records poster series: No Music, No Life featuring Indigo Jam Unit and DJ Tatsuo Sunaga.". 
  8. ^ "Indigo jam unit official web site discography". 
  9. ^ "Oricon Indigo jam unit profile".