Herbie Hancock
Tokyo Jazz Magazines
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Herbie and Kazumi Meets in New York!
The lineup of artists for “TOKYO JAZZ 2003” is now in full view. Herbie Hancock, the music producer of the event, and Kazumi Watanabe, a representative artist among the Japanese performers, met in New York back on June 4th.
Herbie arrived in New York to perform in the concert to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Steinway at Carnegie Hall. Kazumi Watanabe was in New York for his recording with the New Electric Trio “Mo'Bop” whose world premiere performance will be at “TOKYO JAZZ 2003”.”
The two met at the Skyline Studios (37th St. in Manhattan) where Kazumi was recording, giving each other a big hug as they renewed their old friendship.
“Kazumi, great to see you again.” “Yes, great to see you again. I am very pleased to see you again.” “You made a recording recently. An it was recorded here?” “ I just finished the recording here at the Skyline Studios.” “Oh, Great! It still has the fresh atmosphere of your recording.” (laugh) So the conversation went on under a relaxed atmosphere even before the filming began.
Moving along from lobby to studio booth, the two are listening to just recorded sounds of “Mo'Bop” as microphone and lighting is being set up. “So, who did you record with?” “I had Richard Bona on the bass and Horacio El Negro Hernandez on the drums. It’s my first time playing together with either of them.” “I am looking forward to hearing your record. As a matter of fact, I just heard a little taste of it. It sounds great. I am sure that the TOKYO JAZZ audience is really going to go wild for this group!”

And the conversation shifts to Herbie’s Trio. “So, how is your Trio going to be this year?” “I have great opportunity to work with Jack DeJohnette and Christian Mc Bride, so I’m really looking forward to that. I actually have never worked with the two of them together. I have worked with them separately, but not together. So, this will be something new and fresh for me to experience and for me to present for Tokyo Jazz!” “You have a line up of other wonderful artists as well.” “It’s great to have Joshua Redman. Of course you know how great he is as saxophonist.” “Of course!” “It kind of reminds me of the old sound of the old players from the 1930s. And also we have with us, Diana Krall, who is of course a fantastic singer and wonderful pianist.”
Their talk can go on forever. They spoke about the episodes regarding Miles Davis’ harmony even when the camera wasn’t rolling due to adjusting equipment. When the filming resumed, the dialogue developed into the current situation of Jazz in Japan and U.S., and direction of the event, “Tokyo Jazz”. We are counting down the days before we see Herbie and Kazumi and other wonderful artists on the stage of TOKYO JAZZ 2003.

* More of their conversation will be featured in “Jazz Life” August edition (July 14th on sale).

Copyright 2003 TOKYO JAZZ, All rights reserved.