What an absolute delightful find.
Makoto Ozone in his native land of Japan started playing the organ at 2 years-old (according to his parents) and by 7 was doing his own improvisations. He was on television with his Dad from 1968-70. Then he heard an Oscar Peterson recording and that was that, he switched to piano.
While still attending high school he appeared in a few major jazz festivals in Japan as a pianist of a professional Big band named “Tadao Kitano” and “Arrow Jazz Orchestra”.
He entered Berklee College of Music in 1980 and got the attention of Gary Burton and in 1983 signed with CBS records and debuted a self entitled album consisting of his own compositions and joined the Gary Burton quartet.
A world tour over he debuted as a solo pianist at Carnegie Hall as part of a jazz festival there. 3 more CDs later he moved back to Japan where he signed with a label there and produced three CDs there. Then onto another label Verve/Polydor to produce a solo album and another.
He has played as a guest on multiple jazz artists albums along with Gary Burton, produced even more albums and was awarded Best Jazz of Japan in 1997.
In 98′ he dedicated an album to his idol titled “Dear Oscar” that won him another Best Jazz of Japan the same year.
Presently living in New York.
Man I’ll let you go to his website to read the rest.
Talk about an “Asian Dream” come true. With bassist James Genus and percussionist Clarence Penn this gorgeous piece more than defines post-bop or contemporary jazz, it is a stunning display of talent that has landed him in the same league as his idol and keeps him solidly booked.
Composed by Makoto Ozone.
Live at Blue Note Tokyo, 2006.
Makoto Ozone – piano
James Genus – bass
Clarence Penn – drums