This is the second of the images Miyuki chose for her compositions. Although I am never quite sure why people like certain images I take, sometimes things just fall into place... Music is an extremely important part of my life. Everytime I change countries, change lives, I also change music genres. Tokyo was my introduction to jazz.
One day walking through Nishi-Shinjuku I saw a sign for a record store I had never noticed before. I went in to check it out. It was a little strange, as many of these stores are in Tokyo. Labors of love they turn up everywhere and often in the oddest places. But, when I opened the door this amazing song was playing. I had never really listened to Jazz before.
It was a small space jammed full of vinyl. In one corner there was a man playing records, lost in the music. He looked up but left me alone. It can be strange walking into these small shops in Japan. They are so entirely personal and it often feels like you have walked into someones private living space. In some cases you actually have.
I finally worked up the courage to ask him, in embarrassingly broken Japanese, what he was playing. He didn't say anything, he just passed me the worn record cover and gestured for me to sit down. It was So What by Miles Davis and thus my education in Jazz started. I would go there often at lunch to escape work and every time he would play me something new. Slowly, he took me through a massive history of music in a way I never could have done myself. Making connections based on my reactions to the music, sharing his passion and fueling mine. It was one of those perfect moments of communication between two people from very different cultures and very different backgrounds.
Jazz is Tokyo for me. Jazz is the passion in all those little select shops, the small izakaiyas where people meet and talk, the extended living rooms that spread throughout the city. The salaryman who dreams of quitting and open his own ramen shop. It is the insanely great curry restaurant in the middle of nowhere outside Hoya station. The owner quit his day job, moved his thousands upon thousand of records into the space and started serving lunch specials. Music is my memory... music is life.
"A Little Color On Sunday" written and performed by Miyuki Saito.