Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan by E. Taylor Atkins

By E. Taylor Atkins

Japan’s jazz community—both musicians and audience—has been begrudgingly well-known within the usa for its expertise, wisdom, and point of appreciation. Underpinning this tentative admiration, despite the fact that, has been a tacit contract that, for cultural purposes, jap jazz “can’t swing.” In Blue Nippon E. Taylor Atkins indicates how, unusually, Japan’s personal perspective towards jazz is based in this related ambivalence approximately its authenticity.
Engagingly advised in the course of the voices of many musicians, Blue Nippon explores the genuine and bonafide nature of eastern jazz. Atkins friends into Nineteen Twenties dancehalls to envision the japanese Jazz Age and display the origins of city modernism with its new set of social mores, gender family members, and client practices. He indicates how the interwar jazz interval then grew to become a troubling image of Japan’s intimacy with the West—but how, even through the Pacific battle, the roots of jazz had taken carry too deeply for the “total jazz ban” that a few nationalists wanted. whereas the allied career was once a setback within the look for an indigenous jazz sound, jap musicians back sought American validation. Atkins closes out his cultural background with an exam of the modern jazz scene that rose up out of Japan’s magnificent financial prominence within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies yet then leveled off by means of the Nineteen Nineties, as tensions over authenticity and id persisted.
With its depiction of jazz as a reworking international phenomenon, Blue Nippon will make stress-free studying not just for jazz fanatics all over the world but additionally for ethnomusicologists, and scholars of cultural reports, Asian stories, and modernism.

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Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan

Japan’s jazz community—both musicians and audience—has been begrudgingly famous within the usa for its expertise, wisdom, and point of appreciation. Underpinning this tentative admiration, in spite of the fact that, has been a tacit contract that, for cultural purposes, jap jazz “can’t swing. ” In Blue Nippon E.

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Extra resources for Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan

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Veteran jazz musicians who had long since retired or retreated to the security of Ginza cabarets or studio orchestras capitalized on this ‘‘Japanese jazz renaissance,’’ producing numerous comeback concerts and albums. ≤≠ Sait¯o Ren’s Kishida Prize-winning play The Shanghai Advance Kings (Shanhai bansukingu, 1979), loosely based on the experiences of trumpeter Nanri Fumio and other Japanese jazzers in 1930s Shanghai, brought jazz history to an even wider public and led to the publication of another oral history in 1983.

Sait¯o Ren’s Kishida Prize-winning play The Shanghai Advance Kings (Shanhai bansukingu, 1979), loosely based on the experiences of trumpeter Nanri Fumio and other Japanese jazzers in 1930s Shanghai, brought jazz history to an even wider public and led to the publication of another oral history in 1983. ≤≤ The pioneering Western scholar of jazz in Japan is Professor Sidney Brown of the University of Oklahoma, a scholar of Meiji-era political history who used the Japanese jazz histories and his own interviews with musicians such as Sera Yuzuru, Moriyama Hisashi, and Shimizu Jun to write a series of conference papers and produce a documentary film on the subject.

That suggests to me that there are still many stories remaining to be told and much more music left to be heard. Whenever I think I may have overstated the prejudice against jazz ‘‘made in Japan,’’ someone makes a remark that convinces me that such sentiments are alive and well. ’’ My retort is that he walked into the wrong bar. ’’ Conversely, there are Japanese who have ‘‘got it’’ and have ‘‘had it’’ for a long time. They may not be ‘‘typical,’’ but neither were John Coltrane or Sidney Bechet, and that is why we remember them.

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