April 29, 2018

Kaoru Azuma (vo) and Takanori Suzuki (cl) played CrossRoad in Osaka on Apr 27, 2018

How would it feel if the musician you play with for the first time is your duo partner at a show? In addition, how nervous would you get if you have never performed with any other one, even in a combo, who plays the same instrument as hers or his?

Jazz vocalist Kaoru Azuma put herself in that challenging situation.

The accompanist she chose to share the stage with was clarinetist / bass clarinetist Takanori Suzuki. He is such a tough guy that he has performed solo once a month for years at CrossRoad, the club they played together that night.


- Kaoru Azuma (voice)
- Takanori Suzuki (clarinet, bass clarinet)

at CrossRoad in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan on April 27th, 2018

Set list for the show
* 1st Stage
1. On The Street Where You Live
2. April In Paris
3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
4. Water Is Wide
5. Chorinho Pra Ele
* 2nd Stage
1. When You Wish Upon A Star
2. Pent Up House
3. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
4. Just By Thinking Of You
5. Milonga Gris

Azuma has been good at singing accompanied on monophonic instruments such as double bass and saxophone. Some of the audience members knew it well and looked forward to her performance with the renowned woodwindist. But she said she was restless before the gig.

Azuma: "Feels like I'm going on a first date".
Suzuki: "Although this is my very first time to play with her, I feel Azuma is out of the ordinary tonight".

Nonetheless, they nicely adjusted to the unusual they faced to play a variety of songs: jazz standards, Brazilian songs and original ones.

Azuma and Suzuki haven't met before to perform together, but they have a mutual friend to play with often: pianist Hitomi Nishiyama.

Azuma: "When I told Nishiyama that I was going to play with Suzuki, she replied I was supposed to sing this song".
Suzuki: "She always says something like that. It's easy to say".

Carlos Aguirre's work "Milonga Gris" is now Nishiyama's specialty to render with the musicians she trusts completely.

Her original composition "Just By Thinking Of You" was another fun for their longtime fans there on the evening.

Azuma looked as if her heart would get out of her mouth. That feeling must have made her say she got absent-minded after the show was over. She appeared to have real difficulty getting accustomed to the unknown sound at the beginning of the gig.

On the other hand, Suzuki seemed cool-headed all the time on the stage. He took a good and hard look at the future session with Azuma and stressed it is significant to keep the passion for a better performance.

Can't wait to see them meet for another duo on a different scene.

The show was absolutely the right one to celebrate the Jazz Appreciation Month 2018 and the International Jazz Day 2018 with.

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 22:37 on April 29, 2018 JST | show report | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする