| Jul 10, 2013

Nothing beats a Hammond B3

by Sean Smith

This month started with a trip to Cotton Club in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district to see the trio Aquapit play a gig to promote their new album “Orange.” Before the show even started, something caught my attention: Occupying center stage was a vintage Hammond B3 ...

| May 9, 2013

Female jazz acts are the real Cool Japan

by Sean Smith

One of the highlights of my Golden Week this year was a concert by the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Jazz Orchestra at Blue Note in Tokyo. Reuniting her big band for the first time in a decade, Akiyoshi rolled back the clock with a superb ...

| Feb 14, 2013

Jazz acts must embrace some new standards

by Sean Smith

Drop by your local jazz club and on an average night there’s a fair chance the band will at some point play a rendition of “Autumn Leaves,” “My Favorite Things” or ” ‘Round Midnight” — or maybe all three. You might hear an inspired ...