Coda album cover

Ryuichi Sakamoto

London Records

Coda would later become the title for a 2018 documentary looking at the maestro’s last years, but this 1983 gem reconfigures the cues from Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, removing the cinematic drama and casting them as etudes for solo piano. It would also double as Sakamoto’s first album of solo piano (thankfully not the last). But as is his wont, Sakamoto can’t help but fuss with the format, slotting in two new pieces (“Japan” and “Coda”) that merge his piano with synthesizers to create a beguiling fusion.

Andy Beta

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