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The Seatbelts, “Space Lion”


The Seatbelts were a Japanese jazz band, led by renowned female composer Yoko Kanno. They typically played in a 1950s-1960s jazz style, with frenetic energy (hence their name, a joke that they need to wear seatbelts during their wild sessions). The style of their music ranged widely over their seven albums, due to Kanno’s cheerful disregard for style (she writes whatever music is needed to convey a particular emotion, she says).

The Seatbelts did all the music for the best anime series in human history to date, “Cowboy Bebop” (you can hear some of their varied range in Episode 1 there).

I like “Space Lion” particularly. After the meandering Bladerunner-style romantic tenor sax solo, it settles into a nice smooth groove with a Japanese chorus. Very nice.

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