Ning Jing Nguyen z3332661 Post 1

Jazz music is often associated with Western music history, from the early New Orleans jazz, to the swing era of the 30’s and 40’s, and onwards, where jazz began to be considered a serious art form, rather than simply a form of popular music.

However, Japan also enjoys a sizeable proportion of jazz listeners and jazz music scene.

While jazz was most likely introduced to Japan through overseas travellers and bands, the post-WWII allied occupation of Japan offered a real incentive for local-born musicians to produce jazz music, as the Americans were eager to hear music reminiscent of that back in their home country.

Recent Japanese jazz acts such as Four of a Kind, Indigo Jam Unit, and pianist Hiromi Uehara are not only well known within the jazz scene within Japan, but also have a following on the internet.

Sakamichi no Apollon (“Kids on the Slope”), a very recently airing anime, used jazz music as a centre piece for its plot; this excerpt from the anime contains a medley of several well known jazz standards; ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ and ‘Moanin’, played by pianist Takashi Matsunaga, drummer Shun Ishikawa and arranged by notable TV series and anime music composer Yoko Kanno.


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