Category Archives: Japan

Happy Anniversary Part 6: Jazz and Related Sounds


And so we now come to a tri-partite celebration of jazz sounds as part of the ongoing commemoration of the Washerman’s Dog achieving the milestone of 700 posts (way back a couple of months ago). Thank you again to all visitors, regulars and encouragers along the way, its been a blast and I don’t’ see any reason to cease and desist any time soon.


Volume one is entitled Blue Vindaloo. Straight ahead jazz mixed with a fair number of Asian and Asian-inspired tracks by jazz artists from Afghanistan to Japan. Check out the Afghan Jazz Unit’s tremendous Spinboldak Saxophony.

Title track from the Pakistani-American uber guitarist Rez Abbasi.


Volume two is titled Afro Jazz and indeed here you will find much jazz from the Continent, as well as soukous, pop and other African delights.  Highlights this time are from Angola!  Title track comes via the mighty Madilu of DRC.


Volume three, Blow Baby, Blow is dedicated to outstanding brass, woodwind and brass band jazz. Sax, trumpet, tuba and trombone. Greats and unknowns.  Hope you enjoy.

blue vindaloo

Track Listing (Vol. 1):

01 Time Is Right Dr. L Subramaniam]

02 Beauty Of The Flower [Christoph Stiefel and Lissette Spinnler]

03 Elveen [Wynton Marsalis]

04 Spinboldak Saxophony [Afghan Jazz Unit]

05 Ranglypso [Ernest Ranglin]

06 Painted Paradise [Jiro Inagaki and Soul Media]

07 Fat Mouth [Weldon Irvine]

08 Yes, Sir That’s My Baby [Nat King Cole]

09 Abbaji (For Alla Rakha) [John McLaughlin]

10 Hub-Tones [Freddie Hubbard]

11 Eastern Dawn [Amancio D’Souza]

12 Sueño de Amor (Chachachá) [feat. Cachao] [Bonus Track] Generoso Jimenez]

13 Fried Pies (Take 1) [Wes Montgomery]

14 Tempo De Amor [Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes]

15 What a Little Moonlight Can Do [Billie Holiday]

16 Harlem On Saturday Night [Lil Hardin Armstrong and Her Orchestra]

17 Benson’s Rider [George Benson]

18 The Best Is Yet To Come [Mr. President]

19 Nuit sur les Champs-Elysees(1) [Miles Davis]

20 Awaara Hoon [Sunny Jain Collective]

21 Sina Nari [Hüsnü Şenlendirici]

22 Tanzania [Sadao Watanabe]

23 Summertime [Ahmed Abdul Malik]

24 Garuda [Raga Bop Trio]

25 The Look Of Love [Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66]

26 Quaze Caindo [Ricardo Herz Trio]

27 The Lewinsky March. [Rabih Abou-Khalil]

28 Ma’am A’rif Leh (Gingele) [Salma]

29 Blu Vindaloo [Rez Abbasi]

30 Raga Piloo [Joe Harriot & John Mayer]


beau souvenir

Track Listing (Vol. 2)

01 Johannesburg Hi-Lite Jive [Hugh Masakela]

02 Margret Odero [D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz]

03 Muasi Oweli Bela [bolero] [Vicky et l’OK Jazz]

04 Bolingo Ekomisi Ngai Liboma [L’orchestre Zembe Zembe]

05 Kulekule [Konono No.1 De Mingiedi]

06 La Bycicletta [Keletigui et Ses Tambourines]

07 Avante Juventude [Os Anjos]

08 Whiskey et Coca-Cola [Amadou Balake]

09 Black Egypt -Intro [Bukky Leo and Black Egypt]

10 Soweto Blues [Mariam Makeba]

11 Awa Awa [Wes]

12 Koki (Hot Koki) [Andre Marie Tala]

13 Tweta [Mombasa Party and Zuhura Swaleh]

14 Injuria [Jose ‘Zeca’ Neves]

15 Hymn for the War Orphans [Zimology]

16 Na boyi danbinzi [Orchestre Mando Negro]

17 Onyame [Ashanti Afrika Jah]

18 Sogodounou [Nahawa Doumbia]

19 1er Gaou (Ivory Coast) [Magic System]

20 Kyrie eleison [Orcestre Hi Fives]

21 Ting’ Badi Malo [Gidigidi Majimaji]

22 Din Ya Sugri [Christy Azuma & Uppers International]

23 Gidelam [Baaba Maal]

24 Tollon Tollon [Afro National]

25 Ichibanda [Oliya Band]

26 Revolution [Sonny Okosun]

27 Mosquito [Flaming Souls]

28 Beau Souvenir [Madilu System]

29 Black Woman Experience [Geraldo Pino]

30 Despedida [Dimba Diangola]


Blow Baby Blow

Track Listing: (Vol. 3)

01 Blue Light [Ben Webster]

02 Black Man’s Cry [Fela Kuti with Afrika 70 and Ginger Baker]

03 Zomaye [Gigi]

04 Minnie the Moocher [Big Bad Voodoo Daddy]

05 Skalloween [Skatalites]

06 From Boogie to Funk part 1_ The Blues [Bill Coleman]

07 Don’t Take Your Love From Me [Frank Rosolino Quintet]

08 See-F [Ceasar Frazier]

09 Instant Groove [King Curtis]

10 Time Is Running Out Fast [James Brown]

11 Satan’s Blues [Don Bryon]

12 i want a little girl [Big Joe Turner]

13 John McLaughlin [Miles Davis]

14 Misterioso [Sonny Rollins]

15 Sida Gangbe Brass Band]

16 The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro) [Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass]

17 Balkan Reggae [Mahala Rai Banda]

18 Qonqoza [Dudu Phukwana]

19 Got No Money [Dusko Gojkovic]

20 Crazy Mixed Up World [Little Walter]

21 Ad Lib Blues [Lester Young]

22 Need You (right now) [Trumpet Thing]

23 Kuenda Namwendo [The Umtali Chipisa Band]

24 Blues for Harvey [Johnny Griffin]

25 Celestial Bliss [Rahsaan Roland Kirk]

26 Frantic Activity [Rhythm Funk Masters]

27 Struttin’ With Some Barbecue [Louis Armstrong]

28 Asaw Fofor [Melody Aces]

29 African Battle Manu Dibango]

30 How Deep Is the Ocean [John Coltrane]


Funky Rising Sun: Jiro Inagaki and Soul Media


Another slice of Japanese musical sashimi for everyone’s aural pleasure tonight. I’ve just returned from a long and hard couple of weeks of travel, which took in Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Brussels and now (tomorrow) Singapore!  Feeling pretty wiped out!

I love Jiro Inagaki’s music which is usually referred to or labelled as jazz.  But as this album shows, and the title suggests, jazz for Jiro, is definitely not bebop or post bop.  Rather it is more on the funky, soul jazz, R&B side of the tracks.  He often covers soul standards (Funky Stuff, here) and doesn’t hesitate to draw dance beats, WAR-sounds and lots of brassiness into the equation.

I’ve not been able to dig out much useful information about Mr Inagaki but his name pops up from time to time as a sideman with other Japanese jazz artists and he has enough name recognition in record stores in Tokyo for the shop keepers to point you to a (small) section of his CDs.

Whoever he is, I think he plays the sax with great feel and funk. His band, Soul Media, is pretty capable as well. Quite a big band it sounds like which would probably be even more fun live than on tape.

Nothing wrong at all with this piece of Japanese-jazz-funk-soul.  Grab a geisha and settle down for some groovy moments.

Funky Stuff

Track Listing:

01 Painted Paradise

02 Funky Motion

03 Breeze

04 Scratch

05 Funky Stuff

06 One for Jiroh

07 Gentle Wave

08 Four Up



Tokyo Dance: Soul and Disco from Japan


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.


imagesDisk 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.



jdiscofront jdiscoback

Track Listing:

01 Dr.ドラゴンのテーマ

02 センチメンタル

03 未来

04 熟れた果実

05 私は忘れない

06 胸さわぎ


08 君は特別

09 恋の弱味

10 セクシー・バスストップ

11 ムーンライト・タクシー

12 恋のハッスル・ジェット

13 カリブの夢

14 太陽は泣いている センセーション ’78

15 恋のインディアン人形

16 人さわがせ

17 夏八景

18 日曜日はストレンジャー

19 ハッスル・ジェット

20 セクシー・バスストップ