At 68, with a taste and range as diverse and eclectic as ever, Takeshi Shibuya shows no signs of slowing down. In the past week alone, Shibuya has played with his famed Takeshi Shibuya Orchestra, performed as part of a duo with a guitarist, backed a vocalist, and given a solo concert. The pianist, who enjoys nothing more than playing live, also released a live album last week with trumpeter Itaru Oki at the jazz venue Aketa in Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo. Last year, Shibuya penned music for the hit movie “Kiraware Matsuko no Issho (Memories of Matsuko)” and arranged songs for pop singer Kazumi Nikaido.
This Saturday, Shibuya plays at Shinjuku Pit Inn, which he calls “an ideal place for jazz with an outstanding atmosphere.” Though billed as the Takeshi Shibuya Trio, the Pit Inn show will also include guest percussionist and 61-year-old Orchestra cohort Ryojiro Furusawa (whom Shibuya dubs “a superb musician with a young man’s heart”), along with bassist Hideaki Mochizuki and drummer Akira Sotoyama. “It should be very interesting how they play off each other,” Shibuya says of Furusawa and Sotoyama.
Dubbed a “treasure” and poet of jazz in Japan, Shibuya says he is not sure when his trio will play again this year so make the most of what promises to be a night filled with innovative improvs that can only come from old friends having a good time playing together.