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Jizue is a Japanese quartet that offers a highly original blend of contemporary and club jazz, instrumental soul, post- and math-rock, and electronica. With over five albums, their sound has resonated with radio listeners, and reached a fanatical following among club and concertgoers. Established in Kyoto in 2006, the founding members are guitarist Inoue Noriyuki, drummer Shin Kokawa, and bassist Tsuyoshi "Gou" Yamada. All grew up playing soccer and music together. The band's name is taken from an alternate spelling of French soccer star Zinedine Zidane’s nickname, "Zizou." Pianist Katagi "Kie" Nozomiyo joined the group 2007. Their debut album, Bookshelf, appeared in 2010 from Neutralnine Records. After several songs were posted on MySpace and YouTube they attracted an intense following outside Kyoto -- where they'd long been a club favorite. They toured throughout Japan. As a result of their growing popularity, the quartet were signed to the Bud Music label. Novel, their live sophomore outing, was issued in 2012 and received substantial airplay. It landed them a spot on the headlining stage at 2012's Fuji Rockfestival. Journal followed in 2013, and established them in Europe, where they toured throughout the summer and fall before returning to Japan. 2014's Shiori appeared in August and generated enthusiasm across the ocean in Canada. Its EP "Wakusei" and the title track were issued as split with countrymen Fox Capture Plan and received airplay at the BBC and CBC. They headlined Rockfestival again that year and toured Indonesia. In May 2016, Bud reissued a remastered and expanded version of Bookshelf as well as the new studio album Story. ~ Thom Jurek
2006 in Kyoto, Japan