|Tonight, I visited one of Tokyo's premiere jazz clubs, BODY & SOUL, owned by Kyoko Seki, a genuinely graceful hostess.
Performing was singer Charito whose smoothe sound surprised me, but was, evidently, no surprise to her fans in the audience. Her trio was so swinging that I was on my feet on their first tune, "I HEAR A RHAPSODY". Then, the tenor sax player came onstage and just blew me away, he was so clear in tone and was just blowin' the music!
I had my back to the stage, enjoying some delicious seafood risotto, when I heard Charito's beautiful voice. I turned around, immediately, to be surprised by her wonderful rendition of "LULLABYE OF BIRDLAND". She also sang "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS", "IN MY SOLITUDE" AND "CARAVAN".
"WOW", is all I kept saying, during the entire set! WOW! These five musicians really had jazz all the way, deep down in their hearts!
There were only two sets and I'd missed the first one, just trying to find the club. But on the encore, Charito asked me if I would like to join her in a song. Sure, I said and we mounted the stage. She said something to the audience in Japanese and asked me if I understood what she was telling them. I did, she was saying that her music could be heard on JAL flights! Wow! I thought, this lady is Biggggggggg!
So, then, she wanted to know what I wanted to sing, I said "IT DON'T MEAN A THING, IF IT AIN'T GOT THAT SWING" or "BYE BYE BLACKBIRD". She chose the latter and we went at it. The pianist started a little slow, so I asked him to let me count it off and off we went into a swift swing that set the audience to snapping their fingers and clapping their hands.
Charito's vocals weaved in and out of mine and from the looks on the faces of everyone in the club, we were doing just fine. After the instrumental solos by pianist Manabu Ohishi and tenor saxophonist Hideki Kawamura, we took fours with drummer Junji Hirose and bassist Benisuke Sakai, who smiled while he played, which I really love to see because most bass players refuse to smile. We ended with a sonic boom and the audience exploded with applause.
After the show, we took photos and exchanged email addresses. I look forward to meeting all of these musicians again, and the two lovely ladies who befriended me at the bar, Miho and Mayumi! Thanks for making me feel so at home! and Kyoko, you have a really lovely jazz club. Congratulations!
Thanks, especially, to my friend, Shogo Kato, whom I met at CJW Club in Shanghai, for telling me about Body & Soul Jazz Club!
Open: 7:00 pm
Live: 1st 8:30pm 2nd 10:20pm
Minato-ku, TOKYO 107-0062
Love and music,