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Jazz From Japan : Now And Then

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ma1co1m View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ma1co1m Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2018 at 9:45pm
Wow, fantastic thread! It's going to take me a while to work through it all, but already spotted a few albums I'm def going to have to track down. I've been getting into quite a bit of Japanese jazz recently (Mototeru Takagi, Sabu Toyozumi, Kaoru Abe...). Now I know where to come for further suggestions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2018 at 2:03am
then you'll possibly like Masayuki Takayanagi from glorious past




and living legend Akira Sakata Big smile




Edited by snobb - 06 Nov 2018 at 11:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2018 at 11:23pm
another boy-band from Playwright label program - Polyplus


 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ma1co1m Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2018 at 11:41pm
Hi, yeah I'm a fan of Akira Sakata. Not familiar with Masayuki Takayanagi though, so will investigate him further. Thanks for the tip.
I think I'm familiar with many of the major players, but so many of them have such expansive discographies, knowing which are the key albums to listen to is where my knowledge let's me down. Now I know who to come and ask
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2018 at 1:53am
you're welcome Smile
I like digging Japanese jazz - it's quite different from American or European.


Takayunagi is quite unique guitarist who started from cool jazz on early recordings but soon found himself playing proto-noise, possibly the earliest such musician on Japanese scene. Plenty of more current renown Japanese musicians, from avant-rock to imrovs masters are obviously influenced by him, incl. Otomo Yoshihide


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2018 at 1:57am
Otomo Yoshihide is not always noisy, he can be even romantic - his own way




album released on Zorn's Tzadik label

  • Dreams
Click image to open expanded view


Edited by snobb - 07 Nov 2018 at 1:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2018 at 3:57am
for fans of today's Japanese nu jazz - new album from one of the leaders "Fox Capture Plan"




CAPTURISM &amp;#12461;&amp;#12515;&amp;#12503;&amp;#12481;&amp;#12515;&amp;#12522;&amp;#12474;&amp;#12512;
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frederic_Alderon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2018 at 12:56pm
Actually to my surprise, never heard Japanise even do Jazz....but will totally get involved in that

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frederic_Alderon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2018 at 1:24pm
Here is a good portion of a Jazz from Japan of 1969​-​1984 years:
https://bbemusic.bandcamp.com/album/j-jazz-deep-modern-jazz-from-japan-1969-1984
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2018 at 12:02am
pianist Kanji Ohta  太田寛二 mainstream trio with new album 



Edited by snobb - 22 Nov 2018 at 12:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2018 at 12:05am
Sax player Kunihiro Izumi (a member of renown Shibusashirazu Orchestra) with new solo album "No Problem" - Japanese folklore influenced spiritual/avant-garde jazz
 

KUNIHIRO IZUMI / &amp;amp;#137;&amp;amp;#130;宏 / no problem





Edited by snobb - 26 Nov 2018 at 12:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2018 at 1:09am
Playwright label continues releasing young and fashionable Japanese jazz artists music. Pianist Yo Yo "The Pianoman" is coming next week. Modern guy plays far not so modern music :)

YoYo the &amp;#128;Pianoman&amp;#128;


YoYo the &quot;Pianoman&quot; / O.G.SWING / &amp;#130;&amp;#131;&amp;#131;&amp;#130;&amp;#131;&amp;#131;&amp;#130;&amp;#130;&amp;#130;&amp;#131;&amp;#130;


sound samples:









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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minhnt0706 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 8:00pm
This thread is really helpful, I have to comment to thank you!
I just start listening to Japanese Jazz recently, can you suggest for me some famous artists?


Edited by minhnt0706 - 10 Dec 2018 at 8:01pm
I have my own blog where I write about Japanese song lyrics. Visit it to share your hobby with me!
------------
My blog: Japanese Song Lyrics
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 11:16pm
for hip today's Japanese jazz I would recommend to start from Playwright label artists:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2018 at 10:02am
Great pianist Masabumi Kikuchi one of most significant albums from early 70s has been reissued in December.  Spiritual jazz and fusion, still quite fresh and inspired


  


Edited by snobb - 15 Dec 2018 at 10:03am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mediterraneo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 4:37pm
I thought about starting a thread on this but maybe someone here might be interested in this:

Does anyone have any thoughts on this:http://www.jazzinjapan.com/interviews/526-the-moment-for-jazz-is-now.html

"Already, many of the jazz festivals in Japan have disappeared.

Since the mid 90s, there has been no jazz festival in Japan that is internationally known. Tokyo Jazz could be the only one. We now have no jazz festival tourism like in Europe and the USA. There may be some reasons why we could not maintain the healthy potential in the concert business of jazz. It is partially because of such jazz clubs like Blue Note or Billboard, which offer food and music with very expensive price, but with only 300 seats. We should have made as many people come to see jazz concerts as possible, not for food and drinks, but for the music itself"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 4:41pm
hey,

your link isn't working
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mediterraneo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by snobb snobb wrote:

hey,

your link isn't working


They must have recently done something with the site because it was just up there. Do you have any thoughts on the passage I quoted?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mediterraneo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 8:31pm
Here is the cached version:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-1mHeZyti8YJ:www.jazzinjapan.com/interviews/526-the-moment-for-jazz-is-now.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&lr=lang_en%7Clang_de%7Clang_es%7Clang_fr%7Clang_it%7Clang_pt&client=firefox-b-1


The Moment for Jazz is Now!

Interview with Kazuki Takami
March 31, 2010

Kazuki Takami is A&R and Label Manager at one of Japans best record labels East Works Entertainment. EWE has recorded and promoted some of the very best of Japanese jazz since its inception in 1995. They have developed five distinct labels in that time, spreading out into Latin music, electronic jazz and other inspired music that does not fit easily into simple categories. They focus primarily on Japanese musicians, but include artists from many other countries as well. Their list of straight-ahead jazz is the envy of most other Japan-based major-label companies. EWE has always kept its independent spirit, even as jazz has become both big business and an almost unrecognized art form. The musicians who sign with EWE are the ones most interested in pushing the music forward in unique and engaging ways. In this interview, Takami gives his independent and insiders view of jazz and where it might be headed in the future. If anyone would have an informed opinion on where Japanese jazz might be headed and why, it is Takami.
How would you describe the jazz scene right now, business-wise?

I believe we are in one of the most serious situations I have ever experienced in the music business. We now have to start reconsidering the optimum size of what we have been trying to develop due to digital downloading, free music files on the web, and this worldwide recession. Everything affects the sales of tickets and of CDs. But it seems to me that we have been on the way of slow death of jazz music from years ago in every aspect. This recession may accelerate its death. However, jazz, this form of urban folk music, will have to take a totally different form to survive among the people who enjoy it.

What specific effects does the current economic recession have on jazz?

I am deeply concerned about this recession. It will make us think about the future of jazz based on supply and demand within the optimum scale of the market. That could mean dying. It is clear that the suppliers of jazz, the artists, record companies, concert promoters and others, will not take unnecessary risks now. That means it is harder to update the experience of jazz music anymore. Sometimes I am very skeptical even if the musicians can take risks under this economic pressure. Very few musicians can be imaginative enough to go beyond the walls we are facing. I believe that we all, as artists, producers, agents, and journalists need as many try-outs of possible music as possible to keep our tradition and history alive. We always need what may be useless, but really is still necessary, as practice for the development of jazz. To be practical enough, artists need decent financial support. This has been working and healthy for years in Japan, due to the successful independent record companies like EWE. I am also one of those optimistic A&R people who have been trying to keep this residue of cultural practice as much as I can, through my position. However, I think we are now in danger of losing this kind of freedom, and have to start thinking more about "marketability."

So, the effects of the economic downturn are largely negative for jazz?

Not always. These times also offer great chances for artists of different artistic activities to collaborate together, which may provide a different level of development of the art, much as it used to be in New York, Tokyo, Paris, or London in the 60s, or Argentina in 90s.  But it also depends on how positive the arts can be.

How can artists maintain that positive attitude? Is it just about money? Artistic freedom? A devoted audience?

A devoted audience, and devoted artists, absolutely. A devoted, and sustainable communication among them is very important. It may be invisible, though.
But the communication is always the most important point in performing jazz music. And the ability of improvisation is very important when you communicate with the people. If the improvisation is good enough, the communication will be sustainable. And good communication requires devotion.

So, how do you promote jazz so that it can reach more people?

As you know, jazz musicians live a very humble life. Most of them make a living from the fee from small live houses with 50 to 100 seats. Very few artists can fill the seats of a concert hall, though. I think we failed to promote and develop the artists in jazz enough to be able to fill the 1500 to 2000 seat concert halls. And this failure will bring some serious damage to jazz. It may spoil the fundamentals of the jazz business. I guess people with concert business will start giving up on the idea of jazz concerts altogether.

Already, many of the jazz festivals in Japan have disappeared.

Since the mid 90s, there has been no jazz festival in Japan that is internationally known. Tokyo Jazz could be the only one. We now have no jazz festival tourism like in Europe and the USA. There may be some reasons why we could not maintain the healthy potential in the concert business of jazz. It is partially because of such jazz clubs like Blue Note or Billboard, which offer food and music with very expensive price, but with only 300 seats. We should have made as many people come to see jazz concerts as possible, not for food and drinks, but for the music itself.

That lack of an ongoing public will have an effect on the future of jazz, too, right?

I guess the standard, or optimum price of the ticket, CDs, and everything has started falling. I heard some event planners say people nowadays just stay home, but I do see many people coming to concerts and live venues. And still we have many concerts on the list to go, though many of them were originally planned last year. We are still enjoying the ghosts from 2008. But at the end of that list, I am not sure if we still have something to enjoy.

So, why dont more people listen to jazz? What is holding them back?

In Tokyo, jazz is like air. If you go to a Japanese bistro, or izakaya, you may find jazz is always is on the air inside the restaurant. People here dont need to go listen to it. It is always there. Jazz is just an ambient sound for Japanese people now. And also, in our history of learning music here, popular music is put in the second position to classical music. Still, popular music is inside the form of classical music, and is always outside of music literacy. And there are very few jazz artists from foreign countries. Not only jazz but all other music is hidden inside our same appearance. We need more exotic encounters with many things.

In Japan, many jazz fans only like traditional styles of jazz. How can they learn to listen to more cutting edge music?

Well, Japan has imported many kinds of music from foreign countries. We have totally different skill of enjoying and producing the music. There are still many record stores here. And Japanese musicians are also very good listeners of those different kinds of music. They are like very skillful buyers of music, in a sense. Jazz has been very open to every possible idea. So if you are very good listener of jazz by good Japanese musicians, you may find yourself very far from the traditional style of jazz. The cutting edge music does not always mean jazz, but I know there are some people who dare to see jazz as cutting edge music! But jazz is getting very old, here with people who like to listen to the United States of Jazz. They do not think tradition, and history is the invention of people who live inside of it. Jazz is the art form in progress with the people who get involved. Jazz is not just about CDs in the jazz section of the store. We should always keep that mind. But for most people, and a very large part of jazz fans here, they have met jazz through records and CDs as their first experience. They do not feel traditions and histories are very fragile. They need to feel this. But it could be their reason to stay with the traditional form of jazz.

Where will the musicians of the future head in the future, do you think? More commercial, more experimental, what?

I really cannot see their future. I hope they will be more emotional, and more physical. We are very emotional physical entities. I do not want to forget that. The music and musicians are the great reminder of this fact as a human being.

What do you see for the years ahead in jazz?

For everybody, it is clear it is going to be very unhappy for a while in jazz. But still there is a bright side of the dark situation. It will be a very good chance for everybody involved with jazz music to reconsider their own motivation, not based on the economic reasons, but cultural, and emotional, reasons.



Edited by mediterraneo - 29 Dec 2018 at 8:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 2018 at 4:46am
The topic above comes from year 2010, one of the first year of last world's economical crisis, what partially feels from its mood. Situation is different now, and many things are changed during these 8 yrs, then again - most probably we are not too far from the next world's economical crisis (many experts speak about 2020),so some things are still actual...

Speaking about jazz popularity in general, I can mention some moments about situation in Europe (I believe the situation in States is different). Jazz has never disappeared from European scenes but as everywhere it experiences some ups and downs. Last decade, especially after-crisis time, is quite successful time for jazz in Europe (not only European jazz), but it differs from country to country. 

English jazz scene which has been never before a jazz Mecca (or almost never before, excluding some short periods of early fusion etc) is one of the world's most dynamic jazz places now. Some acts are even commercially enough strong and successful, what is generally a rarity in jazz world.

In general, jazz in Europe is partially successful (or at least alive) mostly because of a) educational moments which build its image as "high art" (on the same or similar level as classic music), not just entertainment and b) financial support from governments in many countries same way as them support classical music

Without above two factors we wouldn't see the picture we have now, and I expect this is a major difference between the situation in Europe and one we have in US or Japan.


Edited by snobb - 30 Dec 2018 at 4:47am
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