Bubbling up from the streets of Shibuya
are a number of young bands who have been proving their mettle in jam sessions that
sometimes attract hundreds of onlookers. Pe'z is one such outfit.
The five-piece brings together a number of jazz and funk session musicians - most of them
still in their early 20s - who had previously backed bands such as popular Japanese
rockers The Cool Drive Makers. Led by trumpet player B.M.W., who appeared on the 1999 Ben
Folds Five tour, the group also includes saxophonist Jaw, keyboardist/vocalist Hizumi
Masayuki, Kou on drums and NIRE on bass.
Pe'z began jamming in the streets of Shibuya last summer, drawing curious crowds with
their infectious and unusual concoction of jazz and rock. Their self-titled debut released
earlier this year came out of nowhere to steal the number one slot in Tower Records'
Indies charts from better known punk and hip hop artists.
Their new mini-album, Hayato (Apart Records), marks another high point for Pe'z,
welding funky organ melodies and punchy horn charts to a tough-as-nails rhythm section
that won't take no for an answer. They also draw influences from as far afield as the old
animation series "Speed Racer," with a wacky workout on the show's theme song.
With their genre-defying ambiguity and technical virtuosity, Pe'z must be heard to be
understood. An upcoming appearance at Fuji Rock should provide the ideal showcase.
Pe'z play the
Field of Heaven stage at the Fuji Rock Festival on July 28.