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KS Cover no. 73 2006 June

JULY 2006 :: 074

Nicola Conte

July 6

Blue Note, Osaka

Primarily known for introducing an innovative style of acid jazz Nicola Conte mixes 60s Italian film score inspired Bossa Nova melodies with easy listening rhythms and Brazilian and Indian beats.

Conte took his first steps on to the jazz scene with the Fez Collection in Italy whilst still in his early twenties. At this time he was also involved as a producer and DJ, which brought him some recognition outside of his home country. His debut album was released through Schema records, a label known for experimenting with retro sounds and Latin American music, and sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. To many this number of sales may seem miniscule but in Conte’s eyes it was a huge success for someone without the backing of a big name label and a press/media bandwagon to push it in to the buyers domain.

Backing Conte at Osaka’s Blue Note are a group of accomplished musicians in their own right, Fabrizio Bossa (Trumpet), Gaetano Partipilio (Tenor Sax), Pietro Lusso (Piano), Pietro Cianeaglini (Double Bass) and Lorenzo Tucci (Drums).

6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥4,300-¥6,300 Tel: 06-6233-8888 • Acid Jazz

Tom Grant


July 16

Azelia Hall, Osaka

Smooth Jazz pianist/vocalist Tom Grant advertises himself as walking the line between jazz tradition and modern pop.

Originally from Oregon Grant started his working life as a High School Teacher before finding his musical break with Native American saxophonist Jim Pepper in 1970. Pepper took the young Grant to New York and from there he has never looked back. As well as his own successful musical career Grant has also graced the recordings and performances of many a great jazz musician including Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson
and Tony Williams to name but a few.

Aside from the life of a busy musician Tom Grant has also managed to find the time to offer his services to charity work (which he doesn’t like to talk about) and in 1999 was given the Award for Dedication to Music, Health & Children by the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Tom Grant, a pioneer of New Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz will be playing the Azelia Hall, Osaka with special guest Takako Asahina on July 16th.

7pm • ¥5,000-¥6,000 Tel: 0570-06-3005 • Smooth Jazz

Otis Clay, Eddie ‘The Chief’ Clearwater and Van Hunt

July 19

Namba Hatch, Osaka

Born in Mississippi in 1942 Otis Clay has been performing
professionally for over forty years. Although a vocalist with a solid blues base Clay cut his teeth in gospel groups. He had his first hit single in 1967 with ‘That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love)’ and his biggest hit came in 1972 with the track ‘Try To Live My Life Without You’, which was covered by Bob Seger nine years later. In 1975 Clay started his own label, Echo Records that produces artist with a mix of ‘blues grit and Chicago soul’. Clay has lost none of his appeal and for all these years he just seems to get better and better.

It’s easy to see how Eddie Clearwater found his nickname
as he launches himself on stage (not so vibrantly nowadays though as he recently turned seventy one) wearing a Native American Indian headdress. Born Eddie Harrington in 1935 ‘The Chief’ grew up listening to Delta Blues and Country & Western. As a teenager he was backing gospel groups on guitar until he discovered Chuck Berry, which changed his musical direction considerably. To quote himself, Clearwater says his music is ‘country and blues and rock ‘n’ roll combined … high energy music’ and The Chicago Tribune hails him as ‘Chicago’s premier blues showman’.

Compared to Clay and Clearwater Van Hunt is still a baby. His 2002 debut album though earned him a Grammy nomination and his follow-up album, which only came out in April this year has been described as a ‘beautiful mess of ideas’. Hunt’s music is rock-laced R&B with a touch of funk and some interesting but subtle punk and blues influences to boot.

To see three great performers of the caliber of Clay, Clearwater and Van Hunt all on the same billing is a gift that doesn’t come around too often. They will be performing
at Namba Hatch on July 19th.

7pm • ¥7,000 • Tel: 06-6362-7301 • Blues/Soul/Rock


July 20

Club Quattro, Osaka

You could be forgiven for thinking that Soulhead, Hokkaido sisters Yoshika and Tsugumi, are yet another of the company
manufactured ‘Japanese Urban Contemporary’ outfits that seem to be popping up with endless irritation on our TV screens whether it be in commercials or as guests on conveyor belt music shows. What is different about Soulhead is that they aren’t company manufactured (well, maybe just a bit) and they do in fact produce their own material. As well as this they sing a lot of their lyrics in English and actually spent a year in New Zealand and Australia honing their language abilities, which would indicate that they see their horizons a lot further away than the shores of Japan.

The duo has released an astounding twenty singles but only three albums. Their latest album Naked was released in March this year and Sony Music, their label, say that they will ‘change the future of groove music’.

If you are one of the millions dumbfounded by the numerous genre labels that we have to deal with when choosing our musical tastes ‘Urban Contemporary’ was a phrase coined by the late New York DJ Frankie Crocker in the mid 70s. Originally a mix of R&B, Disco and Gospel, modern Urban Contemporary radio stations fill their play-lists with African-American female vocalists mixing R&B, Hip-Hop and Rap.

Soulhead will be playing at Club Quattro, Osaka on July 20th.

7pm • ¥4,725 Tel: 06-6341-3525 • Japanese Urban Contemporary

Live Listings July

Rip Slyme

7/1 @ Zepp, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,300 Tel: 06-6344-3326
• J-Rock/Hip Hop

The Privates

7/1 @ Taku Taku, Kyoto
6.30pm • ¥3,500 Tel: 075-351-1321 • Rock


7/4 @ Fandango, Osaka
7.00pm • ¥1,800 Tel: 06-6535-5569 Punk/Rock


7/4-5 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,000-¥7,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Jazz vocal


7/5-6 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
8pm • ¥4,200- ¥4,800 Tel: 06-6258-5186 • Female Vocal Band

Nicola Conte

7/6 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥4,300-¥6,300
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Acid Jazz


7/7 @ Club Qyattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥2,800 Tel: 06-6535-5569 • Rock

Thrash em all

7/7 @ Fandango, Osaka
7pm • ¥2,000 Tel: 0570-02-9966
• Thrash/Rock

Earl Klugh

7/7-8 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,500-¥8,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Fusion Guitar

Naturally 7

7/10 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,500-¥7,500 Tel: 06-5342-7722 • Acapella Group

Pyramid (Akira Jimbo/Yuji Toriyama/Hirotaka Izumi)

7/12 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,000-¥7,000 Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Fusion/Super Unit


7/14 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥4,725 Tel: 06-6281-8181
• Japanese Singer/Songwriter

Midori Karashima

7/14-15 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,500-¥7,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • J-Pop Vocal


7/15 @ Club Quattro
6pm • ¥7,500 Tel: 06-6535-5569
• Brit Rock

Laughin Nose

7/16 @ King Cobra, Osaka
7pm • ¥2,800 Tel: 06-6535-5569 • Rock

Tom Grant

7/16 @ Azelia Hall
7pm • ¥5,000- ¥6,000 Tel: 0570-06-3005 • Smooth Jazz

Otis Clay/Eddie Clearwater/ Van Hunt

7/19 @ Namba Hatch
7pm • ¥7,000 Tel: 06-6362-7301 Blues/Soul/Rock

Okamoto Island

7/19 @ Rag, Kyoto
7.30pm • ¥2,500- ¥3,500
Tel: 075-241-0446 • Fusion

Junko Ohashi

7/19-20 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,400-¥8,400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • J-Pop Vocal


7/20 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥4,800 Tel: 06-6341-3525
• Urban Contemporary


7/20 @ Udo Festival, Osaka
¥8,500-¥9,500 Tel: 092-771-9009 • Rock


7/21-22 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,400-¥8,400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • French Pop Vocal

Terumasa Hino Quintet

7/24-25 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,400-¥8,400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Jazz Trumpet

Ai Kawashima

7/24 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥4,000 Tel: 06-6357-4400
• J-Pop Female Vocal


7/26 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm ¥7,000 Tel: 06-6535-5569 Ska/Pop

K-Ci & Jo Jo

7/27-29 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm ¥8,500-¥10,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722 R&B

Glam Pop World Tour

7/30 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
4pm • ¥3,500-¥4,500 Tel: 06-6258-5186 • J-Pop

Third World

7/31 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,000-¥8,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Reggae

Compiled by Phillip Jackson

:: Online Articles


Film Exposure
International Film Festivals


Rodonsha: The Laborer
Or how to make a movie in your spare time


The New Tabehoudai Culture
Guide to all-you-can-eat & drink


Dansol, Philippines


Testing Times
Guide to the Japanese Proficiency Test

:: Kansai Listings


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

:: ART

Best exhibitions + Kansai art listings


Best events + Kansai event listings


Best gigs + Kansai live listings


Parties not to miss + Kansai club listings

:: Also in this month's mag


Spanish Bar Circo, Toyonaka


Sports Bar & Restaurant Cancun


Yuka: Elevated Riverside Dining
Kyotofs gracious dining experience


Nathen Fake


Best festivals + listings


New releases and top ten paperback books


Reel reviews of the silver screen


Domestic and international news