August 25, 2017

Monk Studies / Chihiro Yamanaka

Who expected one of his juniors to reinterpret and reconstruct Monk's music like this 35 years after he died?

The year of 2017 marks the centennial of Thelonious Monk's birth.

Some recordings were made in commemoration of the one-hundredth year by the musicians who respect him. They were joined by Chihiro Yamanaka, who created an album that should be also considered as contemporary jazz.

She knows Monk was good at playing ping pong too. What she tried to do in her album paying homage to him was take a full swing as off-scale as she could from his music while following his own musical theory.

In order to accomplish the mission, Yamanaka got on not only acoustic piano but plugged-ins such as Rhodes and synthesizer.

Along with Monk's songs, she included three original compositions of her in the album, which were based on his music method.

You may be surprised at the way Monk's tunes were arranged or excited at the modern groove. Anyway, Yamanaka's studies on Monk will let you revisit his world of music with a renewed attitude.

Monk Studies

- Chihiro Yamanaka (piano, keyboards, synthesizer)
- Mark Kelley (bass)
- Deantoni Parks (drums)
 1. Heartbreak Hill / Chihiro Yamanaka
 2. Pannonica / Thelonious Monk
 3. Nobody Knows 〜 Misterioso / Chihiro Yamanaka 〜 Thelonious Monk
 4. New Days, New Ways / Chihiro Yamanaka
 5. In Walked Bud / Thelonious Monk
 6. Rhythm-a-Ning / Thelonious Monk
 7. Ruby, My Dear / Thelonious Monk
 8. Criss Cross / Thelonious Monk
 9. Hackensack / Thelonious Monk
10. Abide With Me / (hymn)

Released: June 21st, 2017
Label: Universal Music

tag(s):JAZZ Japan CD
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posted by Jazz Up Japan at 07:03 on August 25, 2017 JST | review | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

August 18, 2017

Two kinds of jazz singers in Japan

Japanese jazz vocalist Mutsuko Kawamoto said in one of her tweets below on August 17, 2017.

"You are not required to have a particular voice quality to be a jazz vocalist, but you have to be cut out for one. And I want to emphasize that there are two kinds of jazz singers in Japan: one is jazz vocalists and another, which is unique to Japan, is those who sing like jazz. They are close but not the same."

- translated by Jazz Up Japan at their own discretion

Well, I will not go to listen to the songs played by those who sing like jazz.

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 08:46 on August 18, 2017 JST | miscellaneous thoughts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

June 12, 2017

Often played but rarely publicized

Have you ever been to Japan to enjoy a live jazz show?

Never? Are you kidding? What? The information on the gigs is offered in Japanese only? ...

Unfortunately, this is almost always true.


(This photo of Sax N Art Jazz Club in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is courtesy of TripAdvisor.)

Few of the jazz clubs in Japan make announcements in English and other foreign languages about the shows they host.

Japan's population, which was in the vicinity of 127 million in 2016, is expected to decrease to 100 million or less in 2050.

On the other hand, about two million non-Japanese live in Japan and more than 20 million people from overseas visited Japan in 2016.

Moreover, the number of the residents and the visitors is on the rise in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Why don't the clubs in Japan and the musicians who play there follow other sectors such as retailing and tourism which are succeeding in treating them as valued customers to try to attract them to their live shows?

In fact, you can scarcely see music lovers from other countries in the audience there.

Japan's jazz show industry may be the one which performs in foreign languages more often but less actively informs the world of their business than any other markets under the sun.

That will no doubt lead to its decline in the aging society with fewer children and the falling population.

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 19:14 on June 12, 2017 JST | miscellaneous thoughts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする