I was in Tokyo last week for the very first time. What a city! Massive, pulsing, hilarious and sophisticated. Not to mention well run and disciplined. The taxi doors open automatically. The drivers wear white gloves. Everyone bows deeply as soon as you enter or leave a shop.
I was there for business but did manage to get out one evening in search of a good music store. What music collector hasn’t eyed off all those Japanese imports of jazz, rock, blues and R&B? With the curious script all over the album sleeves (or CD cases) and their colourful banners along the left side?
I was searching for a shop with more than just J-pop and after a couple false starts discovered Disk Union, on the 3rd (and) 6th floor of bland-looking office tower in bustling wintry Shinjuku.
Disk Union is on several levels because like everything else in the country, record shops are very categorised. On Floor 6 there are racks upon racks of classical music, sheet music, DVDs and books (95% in Japanese) on Western classical music. Down three floors is the branch I was searching for. Jazz, Soul, Rock, World etc.
Within no time at all I had my arms full and asked one of the staff something about a local jazz saxophonist I had heard of. He grabbed one CD and then pointed out that because there was a green tag on it I could knock off 300 yen. On the wall was a poster with color-coded charts showing how much each CD was discounted. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the prices…about $10 each, less for used ones, slightly more (but not too much) for new issues.
I could only justify 6 (given my constrained situation) and here is one (Japanese Disco and Soul) that I love tremendously already.
07 GET DOWN BABY
14 太陽は泣いている センセーション ’78