Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category




Kaho Nakamura 中村佳穂 is a very spirited indie pop singer-songwriter from Kyoto. She often improvises on the piano or synthesizer that creates her own style which makes her music memorable. Kaho rich sound is a mixture of rap, pop, soul, hip-hop, and jazz and doesn’t seem interested in self promotion.  Recommended.


Ayumi Koketsu 纐纈歩美 is an accomplished and sophisticated alto saxophone player based out of Tokyo. She learned the trombone from her father and has performed as a jazz musician for almost ten years. I recently attended the Yokohama Jazz Promenade in October 2017 and there were equally talented jazz musicians there also. She recorded her 7th album called “Aquarelle” 10-18-2017 in which she wrote most of the songs. Songs from Aquarelle: 1. Twin Birds 2. Lunelle 3. Sequoia 4. Black Canvas 5. Autumn Nocturne 6. Wow 7. Rainy Day 8. Subtract 9. Lester’s Blues. Recommended and worth listening to.

A trumpet, Tsugaru Shamisen (three stringed Japanese Lute), cajón (a percussion instrument from Peru), and guitar work well together to create new musical sounds. Performers of video are: 小山豊 Yutaka Oyama ( Tsugaru Shamisen, 島裕介 Yusuke ShimaTrumpet, 齋藤純一 Junichi SaitoGuitar, andホセコロン Jose ColonCajon. “Sweet Esquiva” composed by Yusuke Shima.

Todoroki Jazz Records

CRCK/LCKS are a newly formed jazz group that performs a combination of jazz and pop. They have their own style and produce good music. The members of CRCK/LCKS are: 小西遼 ( Ryo Konishi ) – Sax, Vocoder, 小田朋美 ( Tomomi Oda ) – Vocal, Keys, 角田隆太 ( Ryuta Tsunoda) – Bass (from ものんくる), 井上銘  ( May Inoue) – Guitar, and 石若駿  ( Shun Ishiwaka) – Drumsmusic. Discography: Debut album CRCK/LCKS 4-20-2016  1. Goodbye Girl 2. いらない 3. 簡単な気持ち 4. スカル 5. 坂道と電線 6. クラックラックスのテーマ. Recommended.

CRCK/LCKS sampling


Maiko Nagisa is a jazz pianist and a Tokyo University graduate. As most musicians Maiko has a day job but her music is professional and developed. Her music is produced by trumpet player Yusuke Shima who also performs with her band. Todoroki Jazz Records is a new label that created her video. Members from her debut album are: 渚まいこ (Maiko Nagisa) piano, 石黒豪 (Go Ishiguro) cello, 矢野秀平 (Shuhei Yano) percussion島裕介 (Yusuke Shima) flugelhorn. Discography: Seasons 5-04-2016 1. Season 2. Bird of Dawn 3. Kaleidoscope 4. すいもあまいも 5. 高温注意報 6. Besame Mucho 7. Groovin’ with You 8. Lucky to be 9. Dear my Friend 10. Soul Travel 11. Forest Shower 12. 涙月. Check out Maiko’s music. start at 18:18

Neko Daruma is an indie keyboard composer, video editor, and music arranger from Shiga Prefecture. He is very creative in incorporating jazz, pop, and house into his music. His musical arrangements can only help in popularizing jazz music. Some of my favourites are: 1. Grand Sky 2. Defect of Memory 3. Ciel 4. Quartet: Piano House 5. Piano Hacker 6. Eternal Time. Recommended.

Kurofune 黒船 are a group of musicians who came together to combine traditional Shimauta music of Amani Islands and Kagoshima Prefecture fused with pop and jazz. Kurofune are a handful of groups that have successfully merged the traditional and the modern styles of music to create an enjoyable new type of sound. The members of Kurofune are: Sekiya Yuki bassist from TRI4TH, Anna Sato a shimauta singer and shimisen player from Amani Islands, talented Hikari Shirafuji of group Ki & Ki Tsugaru Shamisen, Daisuke Takeuchi pianist also from TRI4TH, and Toshiyuki Sasaki drummer from the group Nautilus. Recommended.

Music of Ki & Ki and Hikari Shirafuji