The legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli films have amassed a huge following from an incredibly diverse and very loyal fan base (some more than others) around the world. Famed Italian jazz pianist Giovanni Mirabassi is one such fan and tapped into his inner Miyazaki fanboy to release an album last week featuring jazz covers of 10 popular songs from Studio Ghibli films as well as other classic Japanese anime like Cowboy Bebop and Lupin III. The album, named after the French title of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, is Mirabassi’s homage to Japanese anime and a beautiful take on the iconic songs.
Mirabassi surprised Japanese fans earlier this month when he announced he would be releasing an entire album of anime songs on January 21. Fans were excited to see the Paris-based musician reenter the world of Japanese anime since he recorded a cover of the theme from Howl’s Moving Castle for a previous album.
Mirabassi said he wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream to record a full album of anime songs from the classic movies of Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and other greats. The jazz pianist fell in love with Princess Nausicaä from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind as a child and actually dedicate the album to her as well as the creators of the characters and stories he still loves today.
▼Mirabassi announcing the release of Animessi ~Le Chateau dans le Ciel~
Sadly, the album is currently a Japan-only release, so jazz and anime fans overseas will have to find a Japanese friend to ship the 2,500-yen (US$21) CD to them. And here is the track list of the songs you’re missing if you don’t have access to a Japanese record store or Amazon Japan:
1. Kimi o Nosete, from Laputa: Castle in the Sky
2. Jinsei no Merry-go-round, from Howl’s Moving Castle
3. Clutch, from Cowboy Bebop
4. Hono no Takaramono, from Lupin the Third: Castle of Cagliostro
5. Tabiji (Muchu Hiko), from The Wind Rises
6. Yukai na Ongaku I~IV, from My Neighbors the Yamadas
7. Kaze no Densetsu, from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
8. Gravity, from Wolf’s Rain
9. Giniro no Kami no Agito BGM, from Origins: Spirits of the Past
10. Sakurambo no Minoru Koro, from Porco Rosso
Fans of Mirabassi and anime lovers were estatic to hear the news about the album, eager to see how the talented pianist, along with a bass and a drum player, treated the classic songs. The reviews seem to be pretty positive so far with netizens praising how perfectly Mirabassi’s musical style fits with the anime songs. What other anime songs would you like to see Mirabassi cover?