May 06, 2018

Azuma (vo), Hoshino (pf), Nakaishi (bs), Kakimoto (ds) played STAR LIVE U6 in Osaka on May 2, 2018

Those who do something novel are often prepared to get back to basics. It must be one of the essential skills for excellent artists.

Kaoru Azuma, who played a quite rare duo of voice and clarinet five days before, showed that she is among them.


- Kaoru Azuma (voice)
- Masaki Hoshino (piano)
- Yusuke Nakaishi (double bass)
- Hideaki Kakimoto (piano)

at STAR LIVE U6 in Osaka, Japan on May 2nd, 2018

Set list for the show
* 1st Stage
1. A Foggy Day - instrumental
2. My Foolish Heart 3. East Of The Sun [and West of the Moon]
4. Star In Green
5. Pent Up House
6. Palhaço
* 2nd Stage
1. Whisper Not - instrumental
2. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
3. I Thought About You - voice and bass
4. Coffee Rumba
5. But Beautiful
6. Flor De Lis
* Encore
Alice In Wonderland

Azuma sang jazz standards, along with some others, accompanied by piano trio, the traditional minimum formation of jazz band.

She didn't forget to perform only with the bassist, who was the musician she met as well as played with for the first time.

The show was soothing enough to remind the audience that they didn't have to be different to enjoy the "Golden Week".

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 10:28 on May 06, 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

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 Aoril 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

April 06, 2018

Shinya Fukumori Trio played a "For 2 Akis" release show in Osaka on April 3rd, 2018

You could say he has made a tremendous triumphant return home.

Shinya Fukumori went to Munich alone in 2013, just because the label with a high reputation is headquartered there.

Who could have told then that he would come back to Osaka to hold a sold-out concert with an ECM records debut album as the band leader?

(Refer to "For 2 Akis / Shinya Fukumori Trio".)

Shinya Fukumori played a launch concert with the album mates Walter Lang on piano and Matthieu Bordenave on tenor saxophone at Abeno Kumin [Osaka Municipal Abeno Ward Inhabitant] Center Small Hall in Osaka, Japan on April 3rd, 2018.


- Shinya Fukumori (drums)
- Walter Lang (piano)
- Matthieu Bordenave (tenor saxophone)

at Abeno Kumin [Osaka Municipal Abeno Ward Inhabitant] Center Small Hall in Osaka, Japan on April 3rd, 2018

They played songs that are included in the debut work "For 2 Akis", along with Kenji Endo's tune "Curry Rice".

As you can hear on the CD, the sound was beautifully subtle throughout. That made their music more convincing to the listeners.

More than three hundred audience members with some standees in the hall all got so immersed in the vibes the trio created that they forgot the performance was seventy five minutes or something long without an intermission.

[left to right] Walter Lang (pf), Shinya Fukumori (ds), Matthieu Bordenave (ts)

Isamu Nozaki at Jazz Up Japan

posted by Jazz Up Japan at 18:58 on April 06, 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