Monthly Archives: May 2016

Dave McKenna private recording collection


Today is Dave McKenna’s birthday.

Since 1979, he took part in Concord Records.

I saw his performance in Japan tour a long time ago.

My first impression of him was visible to the professional wrestler.

But unlike his appearance his performance was solid.

Dave’s characteristic was great left hand.

He recorded with many musicians and played live festivals as a house pianist.

He has participated in 40 or more sheets of album in Concord Records.

Also he recorded More than 10 sheets at solo piano.

Recently I found a great website about Dave McKenna.Go here

I am surprised his private recording collection of Scott MacKenzie.

Scott followed Dave around the country for the last ten years of Dave’s career.

Scott made 300 private cassette collection.

Unfortunately Scott MacKenzie passed away on Sep.7 2015.

We can listen every collection at no charge.Go here

Art Blakey live at Iwakuni


May 27 President Barack Obama visited Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni after the Ise-Shima Group of Seven Summit meeting.

The following is a story of an an enthusiastic jazz fan in Iwakuni.

This week, I posted about Art Blakey.

When an enthusiastic jazz fan plan Art Blakey’s  concert, Art played even a small town in Japan with pleasure.

In 1983 his concert was held in Iwakuni.

The organizer of this concert was the jazz club’s owner.

Also the owner played drum in his club.

Members of his band was almost rookie.

All members neatly had dressed himself in the suit.

The front line was 3 people.


Bill Pierce (ts),Donald Harrison (as),Terence Blanchard (tp)

They were playing with a tense atmosphere.

After they blew a solo they bowed low to their leader.

Their performance was an original style to interpret traditional repertoire.

Unfortunately the concert was a big deficit.

However, the organizer were satisfied with producing Art Blakey’s concert in Iwakuni.

The organizer had been no regret.



Currently, this organizer has run a jazz club in Hiroshima.

Please look at his Facebook. Go here

I posted about a jazz club’s owner with reference to my old freind’s blog.Go here

Toshiyuki Miyama 〜 Monterey Jazz Festival(1974)


Toshiyuki Miyama and New Herd appeared in 17th Monterey Jazz Festival.

They achieved the overwhelming success.

Their performance had been communicated to US by Leonard Feather.

I will summarize his report below.

’’Friday night Toshiyuki Miyama and New Herd appeared in Monterey.

Foreign big band played a leading role in US major jazz festival.

Until now jazz critics said:”Japanese jazz band imitate real jazz in US”

But they would have comprehended that their recognition was an mistake.


To final song,they played Pithecanthropus Erectus ,Mingus work arranged by Norio Maeda.

Many audiences were still sitting in a chair as they were almost nailed.

They stood up in unison and then were standing operation.’’

[Leonard Feather:Mon Sept 23, 1974 Los Angels Times]
Dizzy Gillespie with the Cal Tjader Quintet and Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd: Manteca

Toshiyuki Miyama passed away

In 1921, Toshiyuki Miyama was born in Japan.

He joined the Japanese Naval Military Band in 1939 and played upon deck of many Japanese warships such as Hyuga, Yamashiro, Nagato, or Yamato.


After the World War, he showed his ability as an alt-saxophone player and formed a jazz band ‘Jive Aces’ in 1950.

They performed and were approved in US Camp.

In 1958 he changed his band’s name to ‘Toshiyuki Miyama & His New Herd’.

They were a back band on a dance floor in 1950s.

Fortunately legend arranger Kozaburo Yamaki provided superb arrangements.

Also Toshiyuki Miyama had found a young genious musician such as Masahiko Satoh.


In 1969, ‘Perspective’ was released featuring Masahiko Satoh.

They had reached the peak of their popularity in Japanese ‘Big Band’ Jazz world.

Toshiyuki Miyama  passed away. He was 94-years.

Art Blakey in Japan

When Art Blakey first visited to Japan,he was asked a commemorative photo from enthusiast.

He said “l am African American. Do you want to take a picture with me?”

The man was fit to willingly photo with him.

In those days or even nowdays Japanese jazz enthusiast respect African American.

They were told their live performance will be broadcast on radio station in Tokyo.

He and his members were greatly rouse.

Before returning home, He said:

“I’ve been traveling all world until now, In Japan I felt most deep impression in my mind.

They were listening to the eager to our performance.

Japanese jazz enthusiasts best for me.

Except African,they had been welcomed us as human beings.

After that, he repeated Japan tour until his verge of death.

He loved Japanese sake.


He married to a Japanese woman and named “Taro” to his son.

He played drum battle with Japanese drummer Hideo Shiraki.


About Hideo Shiraki,please refer to my past blog.

Art Blakey’s ‘Ugetsu(雨月)’

May 24.2016


Photo above of Martin Scorsese

Now In the 69th Cannes International Film Festival has been held.

The prize work of Kenji Mizoguch has been exhibited in the classic department.

“Tales of Moonlight and Rain(雨月物語)” was restored to 4K digital by Martin Scorsese.


Today, I post about Art Blakey’s ‘Ugetsu(雨月)’.

This record was a live jazz album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers released on

Riverside Records in October 1963.

The Jazz Messengers’ tour in Japan had ended a few months before this live performance.

Then Art Blakey decided to play two tracks “Ugetsu” and “On the Ginza” as a homage to Japan.

Why he took up ’Ugetsu’

I guess that he watched “Tales of Moonlight and Rain”.

He felt Japan’s hallucination and daydream by screen image.

Probably he wanted to play the Japanese thema(even only title).

Fortunately at that time he was knowing “Fantasy In D”,which was written by Cedar Walton.

He changed the song title.

Art Blakey said the title before their playing: “Japanese Fantasy” .

Why he became a pro-Japanese person?

Tomorrow I want post about his unknown story.