Sep 25, 2012

Meadow (Taylor Brunborg Strønen) Japan Tour 2012

Meadow, a European jazz unit, will tour Japan in November 2012. The tour is organized by Makigami Koichi, who also appears at all the shows as an opening act with other musicians including Sato Masaharu, the drummer from Hikashu.

Meadow is consisted of John Taylor on piano, Tore Brunborg on tenor and soprano saxophones, and Thomas Strønen on drums. They released the first album, Blissful Ignorance, in 2011.

The tour dates are:

November 9 - Star Pine's Cafe, Kichijoji, Tokyo
November 10 - Saravah, Shibuya, Tokyo
November 11 - Kiunkaku Ongaku Hall, Atami, Shizuoka
November 14 - Shiminkan Concert Hall, Chino, Nagano

The following is from Edition Records's website here

Tenor and soprano saxophones

Tore Brunborg first caught Britain’s ear in the mid-eighties when he toured with bassist Arild Andersen’s Masqualero. His front-line partner then was none other than Nils Petter Molvaer and the way Brunborg’s forthright, robust tenor combined with Molvaer’s more ambient approach still lingers in the memory. Since then, Brunborg has worked with artists as different and distinct in their approaches as Danish bassist-composer Bo Stief, Italian pianist Rita Marcotulli, Norwegian pianist-composer Jon Balke, drummer Billy Cobham, Manu Katche, Tord Gustavsen and master bassists Anders Jormin and Lars Danielsson. Brunborg has also led an outstanding trio with Anders Jormin and drummer Benita Haastrup, as well as his own Tore Brunborg Project again with Anders Jormin on bass, keyboard virtuoso Bugge Wesseltoft and drummer Jon Christensen. As well as playing saxophone with Meadow, Tore Brunborg has composed the majority of the group’s tunes for this session.


If John Taylor’s main influence was Bill Evans, then he absorbed and transcended that influence early in his career. He is one of the most stylish of musicians with an amazing sense of harmony, texture and structure.
Taylor’s piano playing has graced some of the finest jazz records, most notably recordings by Harry Beckett, Alan Skidmore, John Surman, Pete Erskine and Kenny Wheeler. Taylor, his then partner singer Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler formed the legendary Azimuth in the early seventies and their influence is still widely felt today. Taylor recorded his first solo record, Pause, And Think Again, in 1971 and it remains one of the classics of the period. The veteran of countless ECM sessions, it was not until Rosslyn in 2003 that Taylor recorded in his own right for the label. That trio set with Joey Barron and Marc Johnson was everything one would have expected from this consummate artist.


Thomas Strønen is best known in the UK through his involvement with Iain Ballamy in the group Food. Now in their 11th year, the duo have recently celebrated this with the release of Quiet Inlet on ECM records. But Food, however essential to Strønen’s artistic sustenance, is just one aspect of his wide-ranging career to date. His Pohlitz project focuses both on solo percussion work and collaborations with the likes of McFall’s Chamber Quartet, while Humcrush with keyboardist Ståle Storløkken mixes rock, electronica and free jazz to powerful effect. Strønen works with pianists Maria Kannegaard and Bobo Stenson, bassist Mats Eilertsen as well as Nils Petter Molvær, Christian Fennesz and Sidsel Endresen. Meadow, with saxophonist Tore Brunborg and pianist John Taylor adds a fresh and new dimension to this amazing musician’s work.

November 9, 2012
@ Star Pine's Cafe
Kichijoji, Tokyo
opening act: Makigami Koichi on voice, Sato Yoshiaki on accordion
open 18:00 - start 19:00
adv 5,000 yen - at door 5,500 yen
student 3,600 yen (valid, full-time student ID required)
(one drink order minimum)

Star Pine's Cafe, Kichijoji, Tokyo

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November 10, 2012
@ Saravah
Shibuya, Tokyo
opening act: Makigami Koichi on voice, Mizutani Hiroaki on bass
open 18:30 - start 19:30
adv 5,000 yen - at door 5,500 yen
student 3,600 yen (valid, full-time student ID required)
official website

Saravah, Shibuya, Tokyo

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November 11, 2012
@ Kiunkaku Ongaku Hall
Atami, Shizuoka
opening act: Makigami Koichi on voice
open 18:30 - start 19:00
adv 3,500 yen - at door 4,000 yen
for student: 1,000 yen discount (valid, full-time student ID required)

Kiunkaku Ongaku Hall, Atami, Shizuoka

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November 14, 2012
@ Shiminkan Concert Hall
Chino, Nagano
opening act: Makigami Koichi on voice, Sato Masaharu on drums
open 18:30 - start 19:00
adv 3,000 yen - at door 3,500 yen
for student: 1,000 yen discount (valid, full time student ID required)

Shiminkan Concert Hall, Chino, Nagano

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Sep 24, 2012

A Message to the Audiences in Russia and Lithuania

Very lately we came to know that the governmental grant, which Hikashu had applied for the overseas tour in October, was unexpectedly rejected. But the band doesn't give it up. Makigami Koichi, the leader of the band, has expressed that they will do the tour as scheduled.

That means the band have to do the tour on their own entirely, thus left holding a financial burden for it.

Generally, for any musical act from Japan considering to do an overseas tour, due to its cost (especially the travelling), support from public or private sector bodies is indispensable. And Hikashu is no exception. For example, their New York gig last year was sponsored by Japan Society, an American nonprofit organization.

Surely they will get some earnings from the tour, but unfortunately, that won't even cover the air freight cost, let alone all the necessary expenses. And Japanese yen has been, some say excessively, strong for quite some time.

So the things seem to be against the tour. But the band says they'll do it anyway. Why?

Because they recognize the responsibilities. The gigs are already publicized and tickets are sold. And the audiences. The band knows there are people anxiously waiting for them. The audience at Moscow DOM last year was very warm and welcoming. Some members have already performed in Vilnius Jazz Festival, and know it's nice. In the first place, they are very eager to perform in foreign countries.

So what's the point of this chatter?

First of all, if you live nearby regions, already got interested in the band, but haven't decided to attend the gigs, we strongly advise to do so. The band is always very positive to do an overseas tour, but supposedly, they will take a more cautious approach about doing that in the future. That's not their wish but helpless. We won't say this is the last, but perhaps it takes quite some time if you think to pass this time and wait for another opportunity.

And if you like their music, their performance, or whatever, please do not hesitate to express your feelings. Just show your praise for them on the spot. Buy something from them if you would like to. That kind of things surely gives more power to the band. They absolutely deserve support and appreciation.

See you at the gigs!

Sep 23, 2012

John Zorn's Cobra Tokyo Operation October 2012

The famous game piece will be back in Tokyo. The ever-changing personnel is interesting, as always, which this time includes Sakaide Masami, the bass player from Hikashu.

John Zorn's Cobra Tokyo Operation
Autumn Shudder and Smart Unit

Kaneko Yasuko - trombone
Kameda Taku (from Owarikawa) - keyboard
Kita Yoichiro - trumpet
Saito Ryo - drums
Sakaide Masami - bass
Sakaguchi Mitsuhisa - keyboard
Sato Yoshiaki - accordion
Shimamura Yasushi - guitar
Mukoujima Yuriko - violin
Yamamoto Tatsuhisa - drums
Yoshida Yuki - erhu

Makigami Koichi - prompter

October 27, 2012
@ La Mama
Shibuya, Tokyo
open 18:30 - start 19:00
adv 3,000 yen - at door 3,500 yen
(one drink order minimum)
venue info from Timeout Tokyo

La Mama, Shibuya, Tokyo

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More October Gigs

Hikashu looks busy on coming October. Besides the foreign tour, the band is scheduled to perform at three festivals in the month. One is held in Yokohama, and the others are in Chubu Chihou, the cental region of the Japan's main land. (wikipedia)

October 6 - Noge Share, Yokohama Jazz Promenade
October 20 - "Mori, Michi, Ichiba 2012" Sangane San, Aichi (near Nagoya)
October 21 - "BanBan KenBan Hamamatsu Keyboard Fetival" Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

October 6, 2012
"Yokohama Jazz Promenade"
@ Noge Share
4,000 yen for one-day ticket
(ticket for each gig is not available)
official website (Japanese)

Noge Share, Yokohama

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October 20, 2012
"Mori, Michi, Ichiba 2012"
@ Sangane San Ropeway Sanroku Station
Gamagouri, Aichi
adv 1,200 yen
official website (Japanese)

Sangane San Ropeway Sanroku Sation, Gamagouri, Aichi

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October 21, 2012
"BanBan KenBan Hamamatsu Keyboard Festival"
@ Gallery Room
Shizuoka University of Art and Culture (wikipedia)
Hamamatsu, Shizuoka
13:00-13:45, 16:00-16:45 (2 shows)
800 yen for one concert ticket
3,500 yen for one day ticket (invalid for shows at Hamamatsu Civil Theatre "Cinema Era")

official website (Japanese)

Shizuoka University of Art and Culture

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Sep 13, 2012

Hikashu Russia Lithuania Tour 2012

In October, Hikashu will perform in Russia and Lithuania. The dates and venues are as follows:

October 10 - DOM Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia
October 13 - Vilnius Jazz Festival, Lithuania
October 16 - Jagerclub, Sankt Petersburg, Russia
October 18 - The International APOSITSIA Music Forum, Sankt Petersburg, Russia
Apositsia Festival at MANEGE small hall, St. Petersburg, Griboedova 103

Update Sep 21 - The Berlin gig, which scheduled on October 8, is cancelled.

Update Oct 8 - The venue of the October 18 gig (the 2nd date of Sankt Petersburg) is changed and modified here.