Famous for the quality of its musicians and the refinement of its music, the Japanese Progressive rock scene provided such prestigious representatives as GERARD (For the symphonic side), RUINS (For the Zeuhl side) or KENSO (For the jazz-rock fusion side). As far as the so-called Canterbury school is concerned, the local reference is AIN SOPH. This major instrumental quartet produced some of the best gems in the genre, which is however significantly dominated by Anglo-Saxon outfits. This unique combo plays a music that combines extreme delicacy with a great technical perfection, the whole thing being illuminated by an outstanding melodic and harmonic richness. Now a piece of history, the legendary first studio album "A Story Of Mysterious Forest" was first released in 1980. Today reissued by the Musea and Poseidon labels as a co-venture, "Marine Menagerie" (1991) has its own personality, but also clearly evokes the best albums of CAMEL ("Mirage" or "Music Inspired By The Snow Goose" period). This is especially true in "Ride On A Camel". Some brilliant guitar solos are to be heard, as expected, solos whose level is comparable with those of Andy LATIMER. This is not an understatement ! Released two years after, "Five Or Nine - Five Evolved From Nine" (1993) diverges rather significantly from its major influence, while broadening the spectrum towards music sounding like those of HATFIELD AND THE NORTH or KENSO. Here are two gems of instrumental jazz-rock fusion that you should not miss whatsoever ! This album is a "Live in the studio" recording, with tracks recorded between 1985 and 1988, without mentioning 2005 for a brand new tune called "Triple Sequence". There are new versions of "Flight" and "Oddessa", studio versions of compositions appearing on "Hat And Field" and some of the best tracks ever written by this talented band. An exceptional band, a brilliant record !