June 19, 2024

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Japanese Big Bands with Art Blakey – Talk about girl power! Videos

Last week, we posted on top Japanese big bands that accompanied touring American singers in the early 1960s as well as a couple of top ones performing today.

Reader response was huge, so we decided to feature another post with your favorites:

The first three feature the Free Hills Jazz Orchestra (FHJO) of Japan and were sent along by Dave Walker. Talk about girl power!:

The FHJO in 2018. As Dave notes, they are playing Gordon Goodwin’s The Check’s in the Mail

The FHJO last year at the Nagoya Young Jazz Festival that includes John LaBarbera’s take on Miles Davis’s So What (at 17:17)…

The FHJO at Nagoya. First up are a pair of Sammy Nestico-arranged Count Basie tunes. Frank Mantooth’s Ballad for a Tough Year starts at 15:00. As Dave notes, “What a beautiful tone the young lady on the alto sax has”….

From Jeff Helgesen Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in Tokyo in 1961 with Lee Morgan (tp), Wayne Shorter (ts), Bobby Timmons (p), Jymie Merritt (b) and Blakey (d). Jeff notes that for the Japanese big band, jump to 30:14 and 40:15. But, he adds, the entire 48-minute video is a great document…

From Les Johnston in Australia Nobuo Hara and His Sharps & Flats playing Sing, Sing, Sing

From Alan Matheson an excellent kinescope of Jack Teagarden in Japan in 1958 backed by an excellent Japanese orchestra (including strings)…

And from Rick Megahan are the No Name Horses playing Midnight Call…

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