Summer night jazz vol.2
I moved to NYC in 1991. So for me, who loved jazz, NYC was a paradise.
Before that I had often stopped by jazz club around Minami Aoyama in Tokyo
after work. And I had paid a lot for cover charge. Compare to that, I could
listen jazz in quite reasonable price in NYC. It's nothing but paradise.
Well, even early '90s the time was not for jazz especially for young people.
Actually, hip hop was much popular for them. So normally they went to a
night club besides I went to a jazz club. Plus, NYC had a lot of street
musicians. And their performance was in high quality.
NYC Jazz Festival was also held in June every year. It offered many free
and charged concerts all over the city. I also had very sad news about
a jazz giant . I knew that Miles Davis passed. It's autumn in 1991. I was
in my friend's apartment in Harem at the time.
It's in those days when I met portrait photographer Jimmy Katz, who mainly
photographed jazz musicians. We both attended the same work shop which
was named "Psychological Portrait" at International Center of Photography. I think he worked for telemark ski brand in that time. And along with
that, he also took the portrait of jazz musician for his project.
Before long, I was left from NYC. However sometimes, Jimmy and I we get
together. He was always a man of vitality.
I remember once I met him after long absence. Jimmy told me the name of
jazz club in SOHO for reunite. I thought we were gonna talk about the after
story for each other at the club. But he wasn't a type of person looking
back at the past. He always looked ahead.
He quickly passed out prints to the musicians in the interval of sessions.
Then we headed for another club on 7th Ave. south. As soon as the musicians
ended their performance, Jimmy got closer to them in spite of the club
manager stopped him. Then Jimmy passed the portrait to the musicians and
had a quick talk to them. Well, his way looked too hustle to me in the
beginning. But I knew the way he believed must be right when I saw the
musician's face with full of pleasure.
A few years later, jimmy came to Japan with his wife Dena - san. He held
the photo exhibition in Tokyo. The portrait of jazz was the main theme.
So they were busy for being invited by programs on FM and TV. It meant
I didn't have enough time to talk to them. However I felt their collaboration
worked very good.
I said good bye to America, or I was said good bye by US. My connection
to US was broken down in 1997. Since then US has been unknown country to
me. However I should thank to this Internet era. I can hear about Jimmy
Katz. He released the 1st photo book titled "Salt Dreams". Then
recently, he released another photo book "JAZZ KATZ" His life
work became a photo book at last. I' m very happy for knowing that. Winton
Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Sting ... when I saw
the big name of music scene, it's something funny that Jimmy, master of
portrait, tried to learn the psychological approach and met me.
In the article for the publishing, Jimmy talked about the beginning of
the relationship between jazz music and him. He listened the jazz at Lincoln
Center in his youth. It's the beginning.
Everybody must have the moment which made a direction for musical favorite
later on. For Jimmy Katz , it's the concert of Lincoln Center. And for
me, it's "Live under the sky".
In which theme did I started this column? It's drifted from starting point
I feel like listening jazz under the summer night sky. Why not revive big
summer jazz festival in Japan after long absence? I think there are many
jazz fan who's agree with the idea.
Well, the column is ended up such a simple wish of mine.
" Code " NYC, New York, USA 1992