December 22, 2018

Kaoru Azuma (vo, pf) played CrossRoad in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, on December 7th, 2018

Kaoru Azuma performed a solo show with guests from the audience at CrossRoad in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, on December 7th, 2018.


- Kaoru Azuma (voice, piano)

Guests from the audience

- Jun Izumi (voice)
- Kei Ushijima (piano)

at CrossRoad in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan on Friday, December 7th, 2018

Set list for the show
* 1st Stage
1. Alice In Wonderland
2. Desafinado
3. Little Butterfly [Pannonica]
4. Stars [Endless Stars / music by Fred Hersch, lyrics by Norma Winstone]
5. Our Love Is Here To Stay
* 2nd Stage
1. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)
2. Butterfly / Herbie Hancock
3. Corcovado - Azuma accompanied Izumi on piano
4. East Of The Sun (and West of the Moon) - Azuma sang accompanied by Ushijima on piano
5. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
6. Sleigh Ride
* Encore
Winter Song

Azuma sang jazz standards, bossa nova and Christmas songs along with Japan's pop music to her own piano accompaniment.

She also had a blissful time playing with the audience members who learn vocal skills from her. They were so familiar to other listeners there that the performance was enticing to enjoy.

Kaoru Azuma (pf) and Jun Izumi (vo)
Kaoru Azuma (pf) and Jun Izumi (vo)

Kaoru Azuma (vo) and Kei Ushijima (pf)
Kaoru Azuma (vo) and Kei Ushijima (pf)

The gig was heartwarming enough to spend a Christmas season night with.

Jun Izumi, Kaoru Azuma, Kei Ushijima
[left to right] Jun Izumi (vo), Kaoru Azuma (vo, pf) and Kei Ushijima (pf)

One of the audience members conducted a live drawing.
Photo from Kaoru Azuama's Facebook Page

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 12:06 on December 22, 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

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