Back to Sources!

Tokyo Record Style has become such a little gift from musical heaven. I’m becoming indebted to my own project for all the ways it’s opening my eyes, ears, and mind to new musical discoveries and the more it reveals to me, the more rewarding and truly fulfilling it’s becoming. Through meeting strangers on the street, I’m not only making new music-loving homies and expanding my community, but both the roots and branches of the tree of music in front of me grow further down into and across the soil and higher and wider into the sky, like a beautiful flourish of creative humanity. I’m just beside myself with gratitude and joy for stumbling into this project. Thank god, and thank everyone who has shared themselves and their music with me via Tokyo Record Style.

One reason I’m feeling especially appreciative today, is for having me Kei san, a very friendly chap who runs a small kitchen out his home in Setagaya, making lunchboxes for the neighborhood and various delivery services, and who I met at Disk Union Parco in Shibuya, and who shared with me 15 minutes of his love of music from the golden era of Rock & Roll. When I approached Kei, explaining about TRS, and him agreeing to participate, I asked him who his #1 favorite artist was to which he replied, “Jimi Hendrix,” BOOM(!!!), instantly I knew we were gonna hit it off. I promised him it would only take 5 minutes, but as soon as we got cooking, and exchanging musical tastes and references, from the Hollies to the Kinks, from Procol Harum to the The Ventures, from Jefferson Airplane to Cream, 15 minutes had passed and we couldn’t stop. Kei san stole my heart when he called my hometown hero, Leon Russell a genius, and hipped to a fact about him that I had never heard, that Leon had played keys on early Venture recordings when they were both teenagers! Considering Leon played with just about everybody, that totally tracks, but I had never heard that before. How Cool!

But the big discovery made was Alexis Korner, previously and dumbfoundingly unknown to me, band leader and central figure in 60s British music scene, known as “the founding father of British Blues”(!!!) In 1961, Korner formed “Blues Incorporated” initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music that included, at various times, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Geoff Bradford, Rod Stewart, John Mayall, and Jimmy Page …SAY WHAT?!?! Korner was also instrumental in getting the Stones together and forming the band Free, and while many of his cohorts went on to form or become part of world renown bands, Korner was relegated to the role of ‘elder statesman’ in the scene, hence maybe the reason he never made it onto my radar until Kei turned me onto him, as of the reasons we HAVE the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, the entire blues revival, and and arguably rock and roll. WOW! A giant gap in my musical knowledge filled!

I’m sure could easily find and write the profound influence the other two artists Kei pick up this day, Aretha and Hot Tuna (the Jefferson Airplane side project super group, led by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, intended to fill time while Grace Slick recovered from vocal surgery) had on music on the whole, but I’m on a full-out Alexis Korner kick at the moment, so I have to put them in the queue for now.

What a great discovery from Kei and what series of connections to make! Thanks so much Kei for sharing your time, energy, and passion for music this day! Hope to see you out there at the record store again some day! Until then, enjoy those records!

More TRS on the way.

Aretha Franklin – The Legendary Queen Of Soul
Label: CBS – CBS 22112
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Country: Netherlands
Released: 1981
Genre: Funk / Soul
Style: Rhythm & Blues, Soul

Hot Tuna – Hot Tuna
Label: RCA – PG-103
Series: ロックの軌跡名盤10
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition
Country: Japan
Released: 1978
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock, Classic Rock

Alexis Korner – Alexis Korner And… 1961 – 1972
Label: Castle Communications – CCSLP 150
Series: The Collector Series
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Remastered, Stereo
Country: UK
Released: 1986
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock, Electric Blues, Acoustic

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