Maher Shalal Hash Baz (マヘル・シャラル・ハシュ・バズ) is a Japanese music ensemble and the artistic alter ego of Tori Kudo, a Japanese naivist composer and musician. The name is taken from Maher-shalal-hash-baz in the Bible, and translates from Hebrew to English as "Hurrying to the spoil, he has made haste to the plunder."
Tori Kudo has been evasive about details of his life before Maher-shalal-hash-baz (MSHB). He was once a member of a political party in Japan, although he has dissociated himself from politics since joining the Jehovah's Witnesses. He also works as a ceramicist.
He claims to have played classical and jazz piano, as well as playing organ in a Protestant church. His other musical influences included T.Rex and saxophonist Steve Lacy. He and his wife Reiko Kudo joined a band called Worst Noise when they moved to Tokyo; other members dropped out, leaving Tori and Reiko as a duo, known simply as Noise. Under this name they released an album called Tenno (English translation - Emperor).
The impetus for Maher Shalal Hash Baz came when Tori met euphonium player Hiroo Nakazaki on a building site, and found that they shared an interest in the music of Mayo Thompson and Syd Barrett. Apart from the core trio (Tori on guitar and vocals, Reiko as vocalist, Hiroo with his euphonium), the lineup has always been fluid.
Links To Peel
Peel seemed to have discovered the ensemble in 2000 through the Geographic label set up by Stephen McRobbie of The Pastels. Maher Shalal Hash Baz did one session for Peel's show and on that show claimed that he heard the band was listening to his show online in Japan and requested them to find a copy of the Womens Liberation LP from fellow Japanese group Piss. Unfortunately for Peel the band did not seem to find the LP. Peel nominated the band's Blues Du Jour album as his record of the month for September 2003 (Peel's Record Box).
Festive Fifty Entries
- 2003 Festive Fifty: Open Field #32
- Loving / M1 / Ferry Boat / Cold Rain / Sunset/Trees / Ethiopia / Bush Warbler
Other Shows Played
- 31 May 2000: Wings Of The Dawn (LP - From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt)) Geographic
- 13 June 2000: Flowerages (LP - From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt)) Geographic
- 10 April 2002: Stone In The River (Various Artists LP - You Don't Need Darkness To Do What You Think Is Right: New Geographic Music) Geographic
- 17 April 2002: Wings Of A Dawn (LP – From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt)) Geographic
- 18 April 2002: Summer (LP – From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt)) Geographic
- 02 May 2002: Great Gothic Country Song (album - From A Summer To Another Summer (An Egypt To Another Egypt)) Geographic
- 27 June 2002: Stone In The River (10" - Maher On Water) Geographic
- 13 August 2002: 'Stone in the River (EP - Maher on Water)' (Geographic)
- 03 September 2002: 'Stone In The River (CD-Maher On Water)' (Geographic)
- 30 September 2003: Sunrise (LP - Blues Du Jour) Geographic
- 01 October 2003: The King of the North (LP – Blues Du Jour) Geographic
- 02 October 2003: Pelican Of Wilderness (LP - Blues Du Jour) Geographic
- 14 October 2003: Post Office (Various LP - The Wire Tapper 10) Wire
- 16 October 2003 (Radio Eins): Sunrise (LP - Blues Du Jour) Geographic
- 04 November 2003: 'Tokyo Okinawa Scotland' (LP - 'Blues Du Jour') ' (Geographic)
- 18 November 2003: Soldier Of Lead (LP - Blues Du Jour) Geographic
- 27 November 2003: 'Futility (LP: Blues Du Jour)' Geographic
- 02 December 2003: From A Summer To Another Summer (LP - Blues Du Jour) Geographic
- 24 December 2003: 'Open Field (LP-Blues Du Jour)' (Geographic) FF #32
- 12 May 2004: 'What's Your Business Elijah (LP - Blues Du Jour)' (Geographic)