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Nippon Soul : Jazz in Japan




December 6, 2023




Wayne Zade

Jazz, the essential American musical form, is one of America's greatest gifts to the world. Far beyond its roots in Africa, and in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, this melting pot of music is championed throughout Europe, South America, and Asia--and most particularly in Japan, where, with baseball, it was a major part of that country's recovery after World War II. Tokyo and New York are the twin jazz capitals of the world.
Jazz musicians are among our most eloquent storytellers, not only on their instruments and in their voices but in their insightful recollections of the music's sweet-sad messages. Nippon Soul collects 27 interviews with American and Japanese musicians and music professionals on their experiences of playing and purveying jazz in Japan. In the words of jazz pianist Peter Martin, "Because Japanese technology has been advanced for so long, it has powerful ways of connecting with many different cultures. Japan has never had a 'closed door' to the world." The voices in this book try to channel some vital musical correspondences.

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