Watanabe performing in 2011
|Born||October 14, 1953|
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion|
|Labels||Columbia, Denon, Gramavision, Warner|
Watanabe learned guitar at the age of 12 from Sadanori Nakamure at the Yamaha Music School in Tokyo. He released his first album in 1971. In 1979, he formed a jazz rock band with some of Japan's leading studio musicians, and recorded the album Kylyn. During that year, he toured with the pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra.
In the 1980s, he toured as guest soloist with Steps, the Brecker Brothers, and Word of Mouth, led by Jaco Pastorius. Watanabe created the jazz-rock/jazz-fusion band Mobo in 1983 with Mitsuru Sawamura (saxophone), Ichiko Hashimoto (piano), Gregg Lee (bass), Shuichi Murakami (drums), and Kiyohiko Senba.
During the eighties Watanabe released the jazz-rock albums To Chi Ka (1980), Mobo Club (1983) Mobo Splash (1985), and Spice of Life (1987). A DVD was issued from the tour which featured drummer Bill Bruford and bassist Jeff Berlin, who also played on the record.
In the 1990s Kazumi assembled an all-Japanese line-up called Resonance Vox (Vagabonde Suzuki on bass, Rikiya Higashihara on drums, Tomohiro Yahiro on percussion). This band has released several adventurous fusion albums.
Watanabe has worked with numerous musicians such as Lee Ritenour, Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, Jeff Berlin, Bill Bruford, Sly and Robbie, Wayne Shorter, Patrick Moraz, Marcus Miller, Richard Bona, and Peter Erskine. Since 1996, he has been a visiting professor of music at Senzoku Gakuen College. He has been chosen Best Jazzman 24 years in a row by Swing Journal magazine's annual poll.
- Infinite (Toshiba Express, 1971)
- Monday Blues (RCA, 1975)
- Endless Way (Columbia, 1975)
- Milky Shade (Union, 1976)
- Olive's Step (Better Days, 1977)
- Mermaid Boulevard (Inner City, 1978)
- Tokyo Joe (Denon, 1978)
- Lonesome Cat (Columbia, 1978)
- Kylyn (A&M, 1979)
- Kylyn Live (1979)
- To Chi Ka (Denon, 1980)
- Dogatana (Denon, 1981)
- Ganesia (Polygram, 1990)
- Mobo, Vol. 1 (Gramavision, 1982)
- Mobo, Vol. 2 (Gramavision, 1983)
- Mobo Club (Gramavision, 1983)
- Mobo Splash (Gramavision, 1985)
- Birds of Passage (Elektra, 1987)
- The Spice of Life (Gramavision, 1987)
- The Spice of Life Too (Gramavision, 1988)
- Kilowatt (Gramavision, 1989)
- Romanesque (Polygram, 1990)
- Pandora (Gramavision, 1991)
- Resonance Vox
- Oyatsu (Universal/Polygram, 1994)
- Oyatsu 2 (Polygram, 1995)
- Talk You All Tight (Columbia, 1995)
- Esprit (1996)
- Dandyism (Decca/IMS, 1998)
- Dear Tokyo (Sony/Columbia, 2001)
- One for All (Gut Bounce, 1999)
- Beyond the Infinite (Universal/Polygram, 2001)
- Guitar Renaissance (WEA/East West, 2003)
- Mo' Bop (2003)
- Mo' Bop II (2004)
- Kaleidoscope (J-Room Jazz, 2004)
- Village in Bubbles (J-Room Jazz, 2004)
- Guitar Renaissance 2 (Warner Music, 2005)
- Guitar Renaissance 3 (Warner Music, 2006)
- Mo' Bop III (2006)
- Nowadays (Warner Music, 2008)
- Guitar Renaissance 4 (WEA, 2011)
- Tricoroll (2012)
- Kazumi's Music File 84–94
- Better Days of Kazumi Watanabe
- Forbidden Plays (1998)
- Australia Land of Dreams (1999)
- The Spice of Life in Concert (2004)
- Mo' Bop (2005)
- 渡辺 香津美
- Kazumi Watanabe Biography – ARTISTdirect Music
- Iwanami, Yozo; Sugiyama, Kazunori; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 886. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
- コロムビア LPファクトリー／渡辺香津美／KYLYN Archived September 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Kazumi Watanabe, Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- "Kazumi Watanabe | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
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