Jazz & My Life
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Ken Takakura passed away

Ken Takakura, a famous Japanese movie star, passed on 10th of November.

Life is sad when we see this kind of moment.
However, life might be like a mountainclimbing. When we are born, we stand on the bottom of the mountain. And we go to the top of the mountain, or the best of our life. After that, we again go to the bottom where we first standed on.

In that sense, life is like a mountain. When we look back our own life at the end, we see our own mountan of life with personal emotion,

Ken Takakura's mountain is a beautiful and brave mountain, which symbolizes recent Japanese dream. It will never dissapear from our memory and it will always be our symbol of dreaming heart.

Ken Takakura's mountain seems to be such. He has been the Mt. Fuji of our heart, and he will be the same.







Miles Davis Forever

Miles Davis' trumpet is really great. I'm pianist but Miles' play is really deep and beautiful. He doesn't play many notes, he doesn't play fast, but his music is far greater than any technical musicians.

When I listen to piano jazz, Bill Evans is great, Keith Jarrett is also great, but when I just listen to jazz music, nobody tops Miles Davis..His melody gives me any kind of emotion through the sound he makes.

I'm not trumpet player, but I want to become a tp player when I know more about Miles Davis.

Brad Mehldau House on hill

Brad Mehldau's House on Hill is my favorite.

I didn't know this album for a long time, yesterday I frst heard the music of the CD.
If you are a prog rock fans or british jazz rock fans, this album would be one of your choices.

Also as a jazz fan, I enjoyed this with super unusual piano melody of his flavor.

Good die young---Bill Evans

Bill Evans died at 51. What a tragic life.

Recently I often think about my life and my time to die. It's because I became old.
When I was young, I didn't want to think about my life's ending time. I was trying not to think of it. Certainly I was afraid of my death.

Recently it's natural for me to think about the time to die. I'm not afraid of my death now. I think it's human's fate, not a sad thing.

Bill Evans died at 51. I thought he was sad because he died young....when I was young I thought like that. But now I often think he died happy if he could live his life with his talent. When his talent finished firing, he naturally chose to die. If he lived longer without satisfactory talent of music, he would not have been happy.

Now I think he might have been happy that he could die at 51.

Our Jazz live in Roppongi, Tokyo

Tomorrow we will play a little slow and tender jazz music at a bar in Roppongi.

Everytime at the live playing occasions, I get nervous for a few days before the show. But on the day of live playing, it's just another day for me.

Probably jazz could not be a good music if we are nervous or stressed because jazz is an expression of the mental condition or our heart. The reality of our soul can't be expressed if we are not normal in mental condition.

After start playing, I ususlly don't think or care about the guests or audience so much. We are in players side, they are in listeners' side. Each side just try to work at the best. That's my way.

Why is Japan popular ??

I don't know if Japan is so so popular or not. But recently many tourist come to Japan. Some seem to like Japan.

I want to ask them why. What is so good about Japan ?

We are always blamed in the world about the history, economy, working attitude, closed culture, and some say we are racist. We have been blamed for many many years since Japan opened ( or was forced to open ) the door for the world.
We have something want to say when we are blamed, but our opinions are always igonored because of the war history, especially. Our politicians can't say anything to the USA for many many years. What they can say is one word, YES SIR.

What is good about thiis miserable country ?
I suppose that Japan looks like a bad country for foreigners. Nothing is good for foreigners.

Interestingly, recently there was a survey asking " do you want to be born in Japan again if you have next life ?" 80% of Japanese people answered positively YES. We know Japan is not perfect country. We know we are not liked by some other countries. We don't say we love Japan in front of the others. But we love Japan in the bottom of our heart. Because we love our country, we don't complain of our life much..

Boring Japanese Jazz...Makoto Ozone and more

I love Jazz music. Nationality is not important issue. I love European, American ( of course) and whatever.

But I can't find a good Japanese jazz musicians. Some are famous like Sadao Watanabe, Hiromi Uehara, Katsumi Watanabe..and some more. I like Hiromi....but nore more Japanese players.

What I think to be boring about Japanese jazz is that I can't feel their emotion in the music. They play beautifully, but what they do is almost the copy of the original style. I want to listen to the original rather than copies.

There is so so nice pianist called Makoto Ozone in Japan. He plays clean, fast, correctl notes...but he is not interesting at all. Sometimes he plays like Oscar Peterson without soul. He is typical Japanese jazz pianist. Basically he doesn't have anything to impress us listeners. That' why his music is not popular at all in Japan. Hiromi came out years later than Makoto Ozone, but Hiromi already passed Ozone far behind and now Hiromi has fame in the world. I feel her soul from the first time I heard her music. I went to Ozone's concerts sometimes, but I can't remember his music at all now, or even just after the concerts of Makoto Ozone, all the music he plays soon dissappears from my mind. His music is so cheap, so it's easy to forget. His music doesn't have any survival spirit of human, which means there is no soul in his music.

Many of Japanese players play as if they know soul of music. But what they do is copying the soul ! They act like American in concerts, they act like American jazz musicians. What a shame. Copying music is still a cute boy's work, but copying soul and acting like a soulful man is just a complete joke like a soup opera. In that sense, many or nearly all the Japanese jazz musicians should not be called jazz musicians. They are just copycat entertainers. Makoto Ozone is also very great copycat entertainer, absolutely.

Beatles and Jazz - Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery,George Benson, Brad Mehldaw...

I used to love the Beatles....I still like their music but my passion for them is already gone. Its true that my leading spirit to music was Beatles at my school days.

Many many of Japanese ( or world's) music lovers were influenced by the Beatles when entering into music creation. Some come ffrom classical music and some from jazz too, still there are so many people who have roots in the beatles.

Recently Al Di Meola released Beatles Jazz CD. He also says the first hero was the Beatles. I listened to some of the songs, and I understand he is truly knows the essence of the Bealtes because his play really captures Beatles music. It's surprising that he also loved the Beatles.

Pat Metherny also expressed his love to the Beatles, Brad Mehldaw picked up hidden Beatles numbers for jazz arrangement, Will Lee said he loved the Belates and he wasso glad when playing with George Harrison and Ringo Star. Consequently he formed a Beatles tribute band some years ago. Wes Montgomerry played Beatles' A Day in the Life, George Benson has Abbey Road Jazz album, many many more continue.

In Japan, it's said that many of jazz players or jazz lovers including jazz critics came into jazz by way of the Beatles.

I play the piano. Sometimes I pick up Beatlessongs for jazz arragements. They are really good often. I understand many of jazz players love the Beatles. Junk, Baby's Request, Your Mother Should Know, Love, Because, Honey Pie...these beatles numbers or solo numbers were really great when we played. Songs themselves are great enough to impress people by simple play. We don't need to play many notes. Simply, the melody is great. So jazz players love their songs.


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