Archive for March 2012

Give us some jazz!

March 30, 2012

Since I arrived in Tokyo that I’ve been amazed at the amount of Jazz spots you can come across. From the small Jazz cafes whose owner is a record addict, to the expensive international clubs like Blue Note. (Blue Note is a reputed jazz club with branches in New York, Tokyo, Nagoya and Milan). Also, as I visited Sapporo in the north of Japan, I realized this is true for other big cities in Japan.
Jazz is as well, interestingly enough, the music genre of choice for the average coffee shop in Japan.

This phenomenon obviously started with the American presence in Japan after World War II. As the country surrenders in 1945, American troops are deployed in Japan, beginning their attempt of reeducation to the “American way of life”. Along with this process come the good and bad elements of the occupying people, the good one in this case being music, I dare to say.
What you can most frequently listen in the existing cafes and clubs is American Jazz classics from the 50s and 60s – as well as their interpretations by Japanese bands. It is also noticeable how many clients of these houses belong to the generations who witnessed the American occupation.
But of course there is also a whole world of original japanese bands playing around the country, usually on the alternative side with nothing on youtube but 4 CD’s out in the stores already.

It is interesting to see how of the contemporary japanese singers with their own material, many were either born in or emigrated to the US. This statistic of mine also seems to apply to japanese Hip Hop. I suppose this is how american both genres are?

This week I’ll introduce some singers and bands with vocals that you can find in the stores / concert spots.






To start off, a very funky song from EGO-WRAPPIN’!