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JULY 2005
Issue 062

Kenny Garrett
July 6 & 7

Whether laughably known to jazz outsiders as the 'other' Kenny G, or more correctly to insiders as the sax player's sax player, Kenny Garrett resides in the penthouse of contemporary jazz saxophone artistry (along with the likes of Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis), where technique, inspiration, and inventiveness are in unmistakable and freewheeling abundance. Hailed as “the most consistently scintillating and inspiring alto/soprano saxophone force in the (jazz) genre,” Detroit native Garrett has, over his 11-year career as a bandleader, won multiple Grammy nominations since his days with the late great elder statesman Art Blakey, while never losing his edge or curiosity, collaborating with the New Jersey Symphony (on Adagio for Strings), and hip hop's veteran Guru (on his Jazzmatazz project), not to mention outings with Sting and Peter Gabriel along the way. This month, KG — along with cohorts Chris Dave (drums), Charnett Moffett (bass) and Vernell Brown (piano) — drop by the Osaka Blue Note for two days. Expect the scorching quartet to serve generous helpings from 2003's hard-bopping Standard of Language (including two tunes whose titles give nods to local audiences to Japan: Gendai and Kurita Sensei), as well as 2002's more funk-inspired Happy People.

Osaka Blue Note
Time:18:30/21:30 • Entry: ¥5,500-¥7,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722

Janet Kay, with Aswad

July 8 & 9

Sweetheart of Japanese audiences, British/West Indian 'lover's rock' reggae crooner Janet Kay returns to Kansai this month, accompanied by no less than compatriot powerhouse reggae act Aswad. Kay continues to ride the popularity of her early 90s Minnie Ripperton cover Loving You, which appeared on a TV commercial here. It was around that time (1991) that, on the strength of her growing popularity, she landed her first ever recording deal, signing with Sony Music, Japan. So it is no surprise that at least once a year the multitalented performer (she also has made frequent appearances on British television, and is part of the Black Theatre Cooperative) is welcomed to Nippon for brief residencies at the Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo Blue Notes. Her deep repertoire of covers (So Amazing, Silly Games, Missing You provides more than enough ammunition to satisfy those who aren't familiar with her appearance on the soundtrack to a recent Nippon Television production, Amai Seikatsu (Sweet Life).

Lending support, premier UK reggae band, Aswad (whose name is the Arabic word for 'black') remains the premier UK reggae band, and always a major draw in concert, despite never quite crossing over to mainstream audiences. Not unlike Steel Pulse or Black Uhuru, as much of their appeal has come from their message as from their music. Their roots vibe is known to fuse Rastafarianism with social issues — see their self-titled 1975 debut, and especially the well-received follow-up, Hulet. Personnel changes have seen the original quintet streamlined into the current core members Angus "Drummie Zeb" Gaye (drums) and Tony "Gad" Robinson (keyboards), but have done little to diminish their potency or relevance, especially as live performers. This pairing is sure to be a delight to Osaka's reggae diehards.

Osaka Blue Note
Time: 18:30/21:30 • Entry: ¥8,500-¥10,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722

July 14

If you've got summertime and a live Nelly concert, Osaka's hip hoppers (and party people in general) are pretty much set to get, well, 'crunk.' The Midwestern (raised in St. Louis, Missouri) former Band-Aid-wearing rap phenomenon with the sing-songy delivery and, apparently, the Midas touch for club bangers (Hot in Herre, Na-Nana-Na,), has risen when many predicted him and his unabashedly crossover party-rap style to flop, or at the very least to be rendered to the one-hit-wonder circular file.

Well, the joke's on the haters, because Mr. Cornell Haynes Jr. and his childhood running partners the St. Lunatics have steadily taken things over, a streak that began when 2002's Nellyville (his sophomore release) led to the star holding the number 1 spot on 10 different Billboard charts in its first week of release. Then came Iz U on the Bad Boys II soundtrack. And, most recently the separately released double album Sweat/Suit, on which slow jams like My Place and club jams Flap Your Wings continue to tag-team naysayers into willing submission. Osaka-Jo Hall hosts the Sweat Suit tour's Kansai pit stop this month.

Osaka Jo Hall
Time: 18:30/21:30 • Entry: ¥5,500-¥7,500.
Tel: 06-6342-7722

The Pogues

July 27

Hard-to categorize UK-based outfit The Pogues (originally Pogue Mahone — “Kiss My Ass” in Gaelic) are known as the band that added a tradition of working-class Irish folk music to the celebratory rage of punk, reaching back to the last century and beyond. Originally the trio of Shane MacGowan (vocals/guitar), Spider Stacy (tin whistle) and Jim Fearnley (accordion) , they began playing traditional Irish tunes in London pubs and streets, eventually adding Jem Finer (banjo, guitar), Andrew David Ranken (drums) and Cait O'Riordan (bass) to make it a full band.

Developing into a sextet, they added MacGowan's original songs to their repertoire, and began earning a reputation as a wild, drunken and exciting live act. For fans, their most fertile recording and songwriting period undoubtedly included Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985, and in 2005 remastered and re-released), and If I should Fall From Grace With God (1988), resounding testaments to the writing talent of MacGowan and Finer.

Although the stereotypical rock-and-roll excesses eventually led to the band's 1996 disbandment, 2005 finds the rumors of their demise slightly exaggerated, as they make a stop at Osaka's Mother Hall this month, en route to the annual Fuji Rock Festival, and as part of their three-date visit to Japan. At the time of writing, the scoop is this is the classic 1987-1993 line-up of Shane MacGowan, Spider Stacy, Jem Finer, Philip Chevron, Terry Woods, Andrew Ranken, James Fearnley and Darryl Hunt which last toured the UK in 2001. Fans will be delighted to know that the band will be joined on vocals by Cait O'Riordan. Cait was The Pogues' original bass player from 1982-1986 and sang A Man You Don't Meet Everyday on the Rum, Sodomy and the Lash album.

Mother Hall
Time: 19:00 • Entry: ¥6,500
Tel: 06-6535-5569

Live Listings July

The Elephant Kashimashi @ Big Cat. 19:00. ¥4,200. Tel: 06-6233-8888. Rock
Bluestone @ Osaka Muse Hall. 19:00 ¥3,000 (adv.) 06-6245-5389. Blues
7/1 & 2
Fried Pride @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30 /21:30. ¥4,500-¥7,000 Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz
Yuki @ Kobe Chicken George. 18:00 ¥5,500. Tel: 0570-02-9999. Pop
7/4 & 5
Ron Carter Quartet @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,400-¥8,400. Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz
7/6 & 7
Kenny Garrett @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥5,500-¥7,500.
Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz saxophone
Orquesta De La Luz @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,500. Tel: 06-6341-4506. Salsa
7/7 & 29
Sadao Watanabe @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥7,500-¥9,500. Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz
Central @ Club Quattro. 19:00 ¥3500. Tel: 06-6341-4506.
7/8 & 9
Janet Kay w Aswad @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥8,500-¥10,500 Tel: 06-6342-7722. Reggae
Shonen Knife 712 Day Party Tour @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,500 Tel: 06-6362-7301. Pop/Rock/Punk
Satoshi Inoue Japanese Jazz Ensemble @ Live Spot Rag. 18:30. ¥4,000. Tel: 075-255-7273. Jazz
The Supremes & The Temptations
@ Kobe Bunka Hall. 18:30. ¥5,000/ ¥5,500. Tel: 078-303-3131. Classic Soul/Pop
Copeland @ Club Quattro. 19:00 ¥3,800. Tel: 06-6362-7301. Pop/Rock
Oceanlane @ Club Quattro. 19:00 ¥3,800. Tel: 06-6362-7301. Rock
The Supremes and The Temptations @ Kobe Bunka Hall Dai Hall. 18:30. ¥5,000/¥5,500. Tel: 078-303-3131 Classic Soul/Pop
7/13, 14, 19, & 20
Nakashima Mika @ Festival Hall. 18:30. ¥6,500. Tel: 06-6233-8888. Pop
Nelly @ Osaka Jo Hall. 18:30/21:30 ¥5,500-¥7,500. Tel: 06-6342-7722. A Capella
Anthem @ Big Cat. 18:00. ¥6,500 Tel: 0570-02-9999. Metal
Black Veil @ Bayside Jenny. 21:00. ¥4,500. Tel: 06-6576-5640. Goth Rock
The Miceteeth @ Namba Hatch. 19:00 ¥6,300. Tel: 06-6344-3326. Rock
Chie Ayado @ Festival Hall. 17:00 (15:00 on 18th). ¥7,000.
Tel: 06-6233-8888. Jazz
Bonobos @ Club Quattro. 19:00. ¥3,300. Tel: 06-6362-7301. Dub/Pop
Pat Martino Quartet (tribute to Wes Montgomery) @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,000/¥8,000 Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz
Dorlis @ Club Quattro. 19:30 ¥3,000. Tel: 06-6362-7301. Pop
7/22 & 23
Clementine with Carlos Lyra @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,400-¥8,400. Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz/Pop
7/23 & 24
Setstock '05 @ Hiroshima Bihoku Kyuryu Koen. 13:30. ¥7,000. ¥12,000 for 2 days. Tel: 0570-02-9999. Rock festival
7/25 & 26
The Platters @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:30/21:30. ¥6,400-¥8,400.
Tel: 06-6342-7722. Classic Soul/Pop
The Pogues (Fuji Rock pre-party)
@ Mother Hall. 19:00. ¥6,500 Tel: 06-6535-5569. Rock
Fuji Rock Festival @ Naeba Ski-jo, Niigata. All day. ¥16,000-¥38,000 Tel: 0180-993-998. Rock/Various
Cornell Dupree, Chuck Rainey, Le McCann, Ronnie Cuber, Buddy Williams @ Osaka Blue Note. 18:00/21:00. ¥6,400-¥8,400 Tel: 06-6342-7722. Jazz
Accept @ Namba Hatch. 18:00. ¥7,500. Tel: 06-6233-8888. Metal
Billy Corgan @ Namba Hatch. 19:00 ¥6,300. Tel: 0570-02-9999. Progressive Rock
Zeppet Store @ Big Cat. 19:00. ¥4,000 (adv.) Tel: 06-6258-5008. Rock

LIVE Section compiled by HWJ

:: Online Articles


Travelling treats
Outdoor food


In a desert land
Namibia, Africa


Sit! Roll over! Fetch my dry-cleaning!
Robot pets


Passion and pain
Butoh — the alternative theater of Japan


Cut out for kendo
Alex Bennet, Kiwi kendo master

:: Listings


Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: ART

Best exhibitions + listings


Best events + listings


Best gigs + listings


Parties not to miss + listings

:: Also in this month's mag


Puru Nima
Indian restaurant, Shinsaibashi


Purely Pure
Club Pure, Shinsaibashi


Music Festivals
Japan's hottest outdoor music festivals


New releases and top ten paperback books


Reel reviews of the silver screen


Nabbing the Nabisco Cup
J-leage: The Yamazaki Nabisco Cup


Domestic and international news