A Swinging Saturday!
I've been remiss in reviewing last weekend's Jazz fest, mainly because I have about 150 photos to sift through!
Let me start off by saying that it was the BEST FEST in years. I actually heard Jazz eminating from the various venues as opposed to the Hippety-Hoppity-Heavily-Metalled-J-Poppy tripe of the last few years. That's not to say that this music wasn't played, it was just not as prominent.
I started off by meeting an old Soma pal, Shoko, whom I haven't seen since last Halloween.
We met up with Alex & Kaede to watch his school band, Tokiwagi, play a swinging set and they ended up being interviewed.
Dave & his much better half, Miwa also joined in the fun and as you can see, they are really enjoying themselves.
En route to Nishi Park for some food at the World Kitchen, I was interviewed as well. He also interviewed Dave who was understandably interpreted by Miwa but he ended up on the cutting room floor. My 5 minutes of jabbering in fractured Japanese also ended up on the floor, but my quote of "I like Jazz & beer!" aired on the 6 o'clock news. I've gained a modicum of celebrity status among my students who viewed me in my マリワナ甚平 (MaryJane-Jimbei)
During our trek to World's End, we came across several booths selling homemade goodies such as Cherry branch toothpick holders, little frog keychains
and some honking big but cool paintings that were too large for anyone to carry home.
At the end of the World, we encountered a wacky mix of music, including several アカペラ (A cappella) groups singing the collective works of Sister Act I&II.
They had to compete with a truly awful Motley Crew of dreadful singers who drowned them out with their caterwauling. Yet somehow, Miwa & I fit right in!
There were also a few other groups of freaks in attendance, but we unfortunately (er-fortunately) missed their set.
Surprisingly amongst the madness, there was a very conservative and melodic koto & other strings-ensemble who were largely ignored by the public.
A couple of Hawaiian bum-jigglers entertained us during our meal. I had an excellent tandoori chicken, some jambalaya and some horrid fries at various food booths.
Of course the day would not be complete without me getting in on the Hula-Hoopla.
On the way back to the main drag, we encountered a massive poodle.
We also heard the worst band of the weekend and ...
...one of the best within minutes of each other.
A bunch of younguns got up on stage and boogied with them (though I suspect this was all prearranged.)
While the gang relaxed and soaked in the sounds of the singers,
I enjoyed a Smirnoff Twist of Plum & Ume
and a Calpis Sour, an odd mix of Vodka and Milkspirits!
After checking out a bit of Blues in Kododai-Koen...
we wondered over to a neighbouring park where we listened to a Gospel group...
...and a trio playing an Irish jig that mysteriously lifted this Riverdancer into the air!
Will wonders never cease, I had to make some time with the ladies, under the pretense of advertising for our next Echophonyk, of course.
In a vain hope that this year the finale at the main stage would be worth listening to, we awaited the crooners with anticipation. I passed the time with a kebab of various meats.
We were not disappointed in our expectations of being disappointed for we heard a Barbershop Quartet that brought new meaning to the words tediosity & boredom. Though their tunes were technically titillating, they were snoresville and to add to the dullness, they had to yatter on & on as though people were actually interested in what they had to say.
Far better and worth the wait was the main attraction, Sonya Pinçon and her very large pianist, Philippe Souplet. She was great but we were so annoyed by the previous act, we rummaged our way through the crowd for a sit-down beer.
We heard a bit more music at Mediatheque and on the main drag...
...before winded down at 305 for a few prior to catching my last bus home.
Stay tuned for Sunday's action, tomorrow!