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The Manhattan Graffiti Four


The Manhattan Graffiti Four was a successful Japanese-American combo established in 1984, led by prominent bassist Kiyoto Fujiwara and based in New York. The band was well received and played extensively in America, Japan and around the world. This recital is one of the latter Masahiko Yuh WHY NOT's, recorded at A & R Studios in New York City in 1987. Fujiwara was already a young veteran having studied at Berklee and Julliard and was well established on the jazz scene through stints with Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, Roy Haynes, Jaki Byard and Sam Rivers to name but a few. (He also appears on Joe Lee Wilson's date Shout for Trane on WHY NOT CD 79408 along with saxophonist Monty Waters).

Garrett shines brightly throughout the album. He had come on the scene when at just 18, having just been accepted to attend Berklee College, he was offered a chair in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Kenny opted to forego Berklee and go on the road with the Orchestra and the experience was to prove invaluable and led to his rapid development as a highly skilled musician. This stint led to gigs with Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. In 1984 he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers a then two years later Miles Davis enlisted him and so began a five year relationship which made Garrett a household name throughout the jazz world.

This is an absorbing album. Fujiwara is an authoritative leader of this impressively tight ensemble in a programme of six of his own originals, two standards and a piece each by Monk and McCoy and all the participants get plenty of space to display their contemporary and avant garde skills, both as soloists and collectively.

Kenny Garrett, Kiyoto Fujiwara, Shunsuke Fuke, Peter Madsen


  1. Da Niro
  2. Donna Iness
  3. Kenny's Gallop
  4. Pannonica
  5. Passion Dance
  6. Boy And Beauty
  7. On Green Dolphin Street
  8. The Theme Song
  9. Vives
  10. Autumn Leaves

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