Tokyo Jazz Festival 2011, The Report - Day 1

Tokyo Jazz Festival, Friday, September 2nd

Watch the video of Day 1 on YouTube:

In this series of three parts, jazz writer for All About Jazz dotcom and author of the book "Miles: The Companion Guide To The Miles Davis Autobiography" will give his own personal accounts and reactions to the Tokyo Jazz Festival which took place three consecutive days at the beginning of the month of September. Each part will correspond to each appropriate day of the festival.

Tokyo, Japan (Marc Antomattei Press) -- It was a great and majestic opening night for the Tokyo Jazz Festival. The three-day event kicked-off on the evening of Friday, September 2nd at Hall A of the Tokyo International Forum in Central Tokyo. Day one’s headline act included a group of A-list jazz musicians from the United States that gathered together to put together a compilation album in which all the proceeds would go to the Japanese Red Cross Society, benefitting those victims of the March 11th earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leak in Japan. That compilation album being none other than the Jazz For Japan album released on June 1st. Calling themselves the “Jazz For Japan Band”, the members comprised of Clarence McDonald (piano/electric piano), David T. Walker (guitar), Del Atkins (bass), Hubert Laws (flute/saxophone), Ndugu Chancler (drums), Tom Scott (saxophone), and featuring a very special guest who wasn’t on the original album’s recording, seven time Grammy Award winning singer, Mr. Al Jarreau.

The Jazz For Japan Band’s performance really was a precursor and foreshadowing of what could be expected the following two days at the festival. They shined, but who really stole the show that first night was Al Jarreau. Mr. Jarreau was an extremely great addition to the band, and the audience loved him because he was a personality and a half, a very cheerful man indeed. Jarreau helped to fill out and complete the band because he added that “x factor” that was missing, and due to his addition, the Jazz For Japan Band added a new arsenal of tunes to their repertoire.

Some of the tunes from this band included “So What”, "Sugar", and “What A Wonderful World”. Al Jarreau added lyrics to the Chick Correa written tune “Spain” which was unbelievably mind-blowing. Yes, Al was definitely the star of the night.

Day 1 Program - Friday, September 2nd

6:30 pm ~ 7:20 pm
Naruyoshi Kikuchi DCPRG

7:35 pm ~ 8:15 pm
Raul Midon

8:30 pm ~ 9:30 pm
JAZZ FOR JAPAN "LIVE" with Special Guest Al Jarreau (singer)
featuring Clarence McDonald (piano and electric piano), David T. Walker (guitar), Del Atkins (bass), Hubert Laws (flute), Ndugu Chancler (drums), Tom Scott (sax)

Copyright © 2011 Marc Antomattei Press.
Images courtesy of Marc Antomattei Press and may not be used for any purpose without the explicit consent of Marc Antomattei.

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Marc Antomattei