also i've been meaning to read this:
Japan’s jazz community—both musicians and audience—has been begrudgingly recognized in the United States for its talent, knowledge, and level of appreciation. Underpinning this tentative admiration, however, has been a tacit agreement that, for cultural reasons, Japanese jazz “can’t swing.” In Blue Nippon E. Taylor Atkins shows how, strangely, Japan’s own attitude toward jazz is founded on this same ambivalence about its authenticity. Engagingly told through the voices of many musicians, Blue Nippon explores the true and legitimate nature of Japanese jazz. Atkins peers into 1920s dancehalls to examine the Japanese Jazz Age and reveal the origins of urban modernism with its new set of social mores, gender relations, and consumer practices. He shows how the interwar jazz period then became a troubling symbol of Japan’s intimacy with the West—but how, even during the Pacific war, the roots of jazz had taken hold too deeply for the “total jazz ban” that some nationalists desired. While the allied occupation was a setback in the search for an indigenous jazz sound, Japanese musicians again sought American validation. Atkins closes out his cultural history with an examination of the contemporary jazz scene that rose up out of Japan’s spectacular economic prominence in the 1960s and 1970s but then leveled off by the 1990s, as tensions over authenticity and identity persisted.
― budo jeru, Monday, 29 January 2018 18:06 (one year ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 29 January 2018 18:06 (one year ago) Permalink
is there a Japanese equivalent of Spotify I can subscribe to?
NHK radio has a weekly jazz program that i think you can stream:
― budo jeru, Monday, 29 January 2018 19:36 (one year ago) Permalink
That Atkins book is especially interesting on pre-war jazz -- especially the role of Philippine bands as role models and on Shanghai as a proving ground for Japanese players. He's also thorough on the war years and the grim ways musicians embraced or adapted to extreme nationalism. What we'd generally recognize as jazz didn't really get going in Japan until the Occupation years, when the scene shifted from dance halls to coffee shops. Atkins is a historian so his emphasis is more on the social contexts than on analysis of the music, but he seems to cover all the big-name players prior to 1980 or so.
The Japanese quest for jazz authenticity is pretty fascinating and puts concerns about authenticity within American music in a constructively weird perspective.
― Brad C., Monday, 29 January 2018 19:50 (one year ago) Permalink
cool, i will have to check that out. tbh the premise sounded kind of insufferable to me, it's nice to know that the "argument" or w/e of the book is potentially as interesting as the facts i had hoped to gleam in spite of academic handwringing over "authenticity"
the volume that atkins edited -- "jazz planet" -- is positively packed with essays that each look super interesting. but that's for a different thread.
also, it looks like michael molasky (who made a contribution to "jazz planet") is working on a translation of a book he wrote originally in japanese -- "the jazz culture of postwar japan: film, literature, subculture"
― budo jeru, Monday, 29 January 2018 20:19 (one year ago) Permalink
gleam = glean lol
― budo jeru, Monday, 29 January 2018 20:27 (one year ago) Permalink
Another nice one,
― Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 9 February 2018 18:47 (one year ago) Permalink
Also interesting to hear about Jazz becoming popular during the Occupation in Japan. I recall something similar being the case - though pls correct me if wrong - in Germany while troops were stationed during/after WWII and with jazz clubs opening to cater to them.
― Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 9 February 2018 18:50 (one year ago) Permalink
Comp with more of an epic scope than the (awesome) BBE one, listening now and very much enjoying:
― Daniel_Rf, Sunday, 24 June 2018 12:48 (eight months ago) Permalink
I wrote about the BBE and Jazzman compilations back in April. Now it turns out the very rare album Tachibana by the Tohru Aizawa Quartet, one track from which appears on the J-Jazz comp, is being reissued next month. I pre-ordered it on Bandcamp:
― grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 24 June 2018 13:57 (eight months ago) Permalink
Listening to the J-Jazz Como a lot this week and Eiji Nakayama’s Aya’s Samba is a wonderful piece. Almost disarmingly simple and slightly melancholic but beautiful textured.
― American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 9 July 2018 22:48 (eight months ago) Permalink
Just got this press release:
BBE Music is proud to present the next instalment in the J Jazz Masterclass Series: ‘East Plants’ by Takeo Moriyama, one of Japan’s finest jazz drummers.A genuine ‘under the radar’ album known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, ‘East Plants’ is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a double 180g LP, with exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated. ‘East Plants’ is also available as CD and digital formats. This reissue is fully endorsed by Takeo Moriyama himself.Originally released in 1983 on the Japanese VAP label, ‘East Plants’ is an essential album in the J Jazz canon. It’s an album that distils several key characteristics of Moriyama’s music: clearly articulated and inventive rhythms, open yet orderly arrangements, and an accessible groove balanced with a graceful control.
― dow, Friday, 7 September 2018 20:51 (six months ago) Permalink
the Tohru Aizawa Quartet record is (mostly) awesome. some seriously fiery playing.
― tylerw, Friday, 7 September 2018 20:57 (six months ago) Permalink
That Takeo Moriyama is great. The two epics that bookend it in particular.
― Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 18 October 2018 15:05 (five months ago) Permalink
this is it! (satoko fujii, natsuki tamura, takashi itani) 1538 album. opens up with this absolutely smouldering maelstrom that I've repeated a couple of times now, without listening to the rest of the album yet.
― calzino, Thursday, 18 October 2018 15:13 (five months ago) Permalink
public bath press has just put out a first-ever english translation of teruto soejima's landmark history of japanese free jazz:
This book, the only history of free jazz in Japan, has been reprinted many times in Japan and is finally available to readers overseas in English translation. From its earliest stirrings in the 1960s until it reached international recognition in the 1970s and after, free jazz in Japan is a unique music that has found its perfect scribe. Soejima Teruto was a writer who fell in love with a music and devoted his life to it as promoter, critic, label owner, tour organizer, and much more. All new photos in this edition, none used from the original Japanese volume. Introduction by Otomo Yoshihide.
you can get it here:
― budo jeru, Wednesday, 19 December 2018 17:45 (three months ago) Permalink