October 28, 2008
October 20, 2008
A Pocketful of Grease - The Osian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet
Caravan - Nicola Conte
Hi-Fly Stomp - The Hi-Fly Orchestra
Seven Day Fool - Lizzy Parks
Garra - Marcos Valle
Trust Me - Aged In Harmony
Back To Funk - Robert Lowe
Pressure - Lady Alma
Walk Into Space (Pts I & II) - Mo' Horizons
October 14, 2008
The tori at Itsukushima Shrine, Motomachi
A dance studio
From Motomachi it's a short walk to Chinatown (another common feature of the early open ports mentioned above), which is packed with restaurants, food stalls, groceries and souvenir shops.
Lunchtime sees queues of people waiting outside the most popular restaurants, some of which seem to cater mainly for groups judging by the size of the lunch courses offered. I opted for a (slightly) shorter wait and some great food ~ prawns in chilli sauce and crispy fried noodles.
Detail from the entrance to a temple
After lunch I strolled over to the other side of the port to the Minato Mirai area with Landmark Tower (the tallest building in Japan) and the Queens shopping complex as well as the distinctive big wheel.
This weekend also saw the staging of the Yokohama Jazz Promenade which saw a couple of days of gigs in various different venues around the city as well as some street performances at certain designated places. There were three such areas in the Minato Mirai area ~ one outside, one inside the shopping complex and a third in the disused dock in front of Landmark Tower. I took some time out to watch some of the acts, some of which were really good, though there seemed to be an emphasis on big bands rather than smaller combos at the places I watched.
Having checked into a hotel late in the afternoon I soon headed down to the port area. The idea was to get something to eat before heading to the Nicola Conte Jazz Combo gig at Motion Blue, and I originally thought of going to one of the eateries in the Aka Renga Soko (Red Brick Warehouse). However, it turned out that in the space next to the warehouse, there was a huge tent set up for the annual Yokohama Oktoberfest. I'm not sure how long this has been happening, but it seems that they have a Bavarian-style beer festival every autumn, complete with overpriced beer, more sausages and pretzels than you would normally imagine in Japan and an authentic lederhosen-clad German oom-pah band.
I stayed long enough for a couple of pints and a plate full of food enjoying the overall atmosphere and trying avoid being drafted into the ever-growing drunken conga stumbling around the tent. Lots of fun and plenty of very pink-faced and tipsy customers, though I'm not sure what made a couple of Japanese guys think that wearing WWII German military uniforms would be a good costume for the evening.
A bit after 8 o'clock I dragged myself away from the mayhem and wandered the short distance to the Aka Renga Soko and up to a completely different atmosphere in Motion Blue for a superb gig by Nicola Conte (review here ).
Minato Mirai viewed from the Aka Renga Soko.
October 09, 2008
Air Duct - jaz'presso
Young Black Horse- quasimode feat. Tabu Zombi
Macedonia - Nicola Conte
Night in Tunisia - Tubby Hayes Orchestra
Groovin' for Mr G - Richard "Groove" Holmes
Round Town - Elvin Jones
Why She Had To Go - Burning Desire
Reversible Top - Steve Spacek
Nah Mean Nah'm Saying - The Herbaliser
October 07, 2008
I spent a couple of hours wandering around after lunch, generally soaking up the atmosphere but not really hanging anywhere for too long. I felt that it was similar in some ways to Koenji in that it seems to attract a similar kind of person, though it certainly has its own unique atmosphere.There a number of shops selling antiques or retro toys from the Showa period.
Some buildings are adorned with paintings and some shops have pretty colourful shutters.
Sounds like a winning combination to me.
An incredibly narrow building.
As with Koenji, there is a wide selection of secondhand clothes shops and record/CD shops.
October 01, 2008
That Ain't It - The Blessing
I Need A Change, Too - Yasumasa Kumagai
Nunca Never - democustico
Stepping Stone - Duffy
Ain't That A Groove - Dave Hamilton
Everything's Gonna Be Alright - Robert Moore
Ugali - The Tony Benson Sextet
Shabazz - The Rhoda Scott Trio
Sphinx- indigo jam unit