December 17, 2018

The Hirakata Love Jazz 2018 at Mécénat Hirakata in Hirakata City, Osaka Pref., on December 1st, 2018

The Hirakata Love Jazz concert, which features the three jazz musicians you will remember in connection with the city of Hirakata in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture, took place for the second consecutive year.

Set list for the show

* 1st Stage - Hiroshi Tanaka Trio + Miki Hirose, Anri Ikeda
1. Three in one / Thad Jones (arranged by Mitsuoka)
2. And I love her / Jonn Lennon, Paul McCartney (arranged by Shimizu)
3. Harlem Nocturne / Earle Hagen (arranged by Tanaka)
4. Autumn leaves / Josef Kosma (arranged by Mitsuoka)
5. You go to my head / Fred Coots
6. Like a lover / Dori Caymmi, Nelson Motta (arranged by Ikeda)
7. Our love is here to stay / George Gershwin

- Hiroshi Tanaka (drums)
- Manami Shimizu (piano)
- Naoki Mitsuoka (double bass)
- Miki Hirose (trumpet)
- Anri Ikeda (vocals)

* 2nd Stage - Takanori Suzuki Trio
1. Esperanza / Takanori Suzuki
2. Lost Bird / Takanori Suzuki
3. Cada Vez Que Siento Tu Amor / Quique Sinesi
4. Lumière / Takanori Suzuki
5. Slippy / Takanori Suzuki

- Takanori Suzuki (clarinet)
- Satoshi Aikawa (guitar)
- Yoshihiro Tokiyasu (double bass)

* 3rd Stage - NHORHM
1. P.C.P. / Hitomi Nishiyama
2. Madhouse / Anthrax
3. Over the hills and far away / Gary Moore
4. Speed / Loudness
5. El.Dorado / Seikima-II
6. What do you do for money honey / AC/DC

- Hitomi Nishiyama (piano)
- Ryoji Orihara (fretless bass)
- Manabu Hashimoto (drums)

* Final Stage - Hirakata Trio
1. Hirakata Park West / Hitomi Nishiyama
2. Take the "K" Train / Hitomi Nishiyama

- Hitomi Nishiyama (piano)
- Takanori Suzuki (clarinet)
- Naoki Mitsuoka (double bass)

The lead-off cat was double bassist Naoki Mitsuoka, who was part of drummer Hiroshi Tanaka's trio with pianist Manami Shimizu. The unit invited trumpeter Miki Hirose and singer Anri Ikeda to play some jazz standards.

The artist who followed Mitsuoka was clarinetist Takanori Suzuki. He led his trio with guitarist Satoshi Aikawa and double bassist Yoshihiro Tokiyasu to play Suzuki's compositions and a spanish song.

The last performer at the show was pianist Hitomi Nishiyama. Her project band NHORHM (New Heritage Of Heavy Metal) with fretless bassist Ryoji Orihara and drummer Manabu Hashimoto played heavy metal tunes as well as one of Nishiyama's originals.

On the final stage that afternoon were all the featured Hirakatans: Nishiyama, Suzuki and Mitsuoka, or Hirakata Trio. They played songs Nishiyama created for the Hirakata Love Jazz concert: "Hirakata Park West" and "Take The K Train".

The trio's name may make you think of a comedian group, but the concert reminded the audience of their deep love of Hirakata.

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 19:24 on December 17, 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

November 23, 2018

Jun Izumi (vo) and Yuto Kanazawa (gt) played Bamboo Club in Osaka, on November 18th, 2018

The duo came back to celebrate the release of their album.

Jun Izumi and Yuto Kanazawa, singer and guitarist based in New York, performed at the quaint house where they played the Tanabata night gig earlier that year.


- Jun Izumi (voice)

- Yuto Kanazawa (guitar)

at Bamboo Club in Osaka, Japan on Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Set list for the show
* 1st Stage
1. Love You Madly
2. Flor De Lis
3. Will I
4. My Favorite Things
5. Close To You
6. First Circle
* 2nd Stage
1. Triste
2. Love For Sale
3. Carnival
4. Spain

They played four songs from the EP "No Day But Today", which comprises five pieces.

The album title comes from the Broadway musical "RENT".

When Izumi visited New York for the first time, she buried herself in the show so deep that she enjoyed savoring it four days a week.

You can feel her devotion to everything about the play, including the story, music, lyrics and playwright, in the duo's performance of "Will I".

Now "No Day But Today" is the words to live by for Izumi.

Izumi and Kanazawa also created a fantastic YouTube movie in which they played "Will I". That was filmed in East Village, the area of New York City which characterized "RENT".

The guitar accompaniment brings out the singer's emotion in such a sophisticated way. His cutting-edge arrangement to the songs sometimes sounds reminiscent of the days when they were composed.

The club saw other great vocalists in the audience: SOA and Kaoru Azuma, which means the show was really worth appreciating.

[left to right] SOA, Jun Izumi, Kaoru Azuma and Bamboo Club's owner Rumi Ushijima

The performance was awesome enough to spend the beautiful mid-fall afternoon.

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 10:17 on November 23, 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

November 17, 2018

Ai Kuwabara the Project played Umeda Club Quattro in Osaka, on November 5th, 2018

Ai Kuwabara (piano), Keisuke Torigoe (double bass), Muneomi Senju (drums) and Daichi Yamamoto (rap) performed a launch show for their latest album at Umeda Club Quattro in Osaka, on November 5th, 2018.


- Ai Kuwabara (piano)

- Keisuke Torigoe (double bass)

- Muneomi Senju (drums)

- Daichi Yamamoto (rap)

at Umeda Club Quattro in Osaka, Japan on Monday, November 5th, 2018

Set list for the show
1. Opening-1
2. The Error
3. Mother Sea
4. Maria
5. Improvisation XV - Hommage à Édith Piaf
7. Window / Daichi Yamamoto
8. To The End Of This World
9. 919
* Encore
Love Me Or Leave Me

M1, 2, 3, 8, 9: pf, bs, ds
M4: pf, bs
M5: pf, ds
M6, M7: pf, bs, ds, rap
En: pf

The album "To The End Of This World" is based on Kuwabara's piano trio performance, in which she invited some guest artists to her CD production for the first time.

"I wanted to record it in that way." - Ai Kuwabara

She recalls her passion for the rendition she played with twelve musicians in total.

The pianist stayed so cool during the busy recording session that she played piano for only fifteen seconds in "Improvisation XV - Hommage à Édith Piaf" because she believed that was enough for the song.

Kuwabara wrote "MAMA", the piece Daichi Yamamoto raps on, just after she had words with her mother. The bickering is the result of affection, she says.

The composition "919" means the date when the 2015 Japanese military legislation was passed in the Diet.

The phrase "To The End Of This World" came across her mind when Kuwabara felt some connection among the tunes in the album and pondered where the feeling came from. She depicted how she would live her life to the end of this world as a woman as well as a pianist.

The ninety-five-minute, intermission-free show convinced the audience that the album was a big milestone in the pianist's life.

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 19:11 on November 17, 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