Suda Yuichiro

A rather frequent interaction that occurs in the process of pitching people on the idea of photographing them with their records is them acknowledging the concept “Oh, that’s actually pretty cool” but then them politely declining, “Sorry, but I’m just not…”…PAUSE… Now, reader, it’s in this moment that the brain immediately says “Ok, Brian, this one is going to require winning over. What’s gonna be our approach here?” And I really just have a couple of plays. Now there is a lot of nuance to these approaches, but I basically have the  “Go-For-It-Brian-What-Have-You-Got-To-Lose” Way (AKA “Brian Tsunami” / “Bunami”), which sounds like this …PLAY… “Ah, but you look so amazing and so cool and this project also highlights style, and my gawd, are you ever incredibly stylish, and I’m sure somebody with so much fashion sense would have incredible taste in music!” …PAUSE… That usually at least gets some gears greased. Another way is the nonchalant “All-Good-No-Worries” way which usually sounds like …PLAY… “Naw, fair enough, no sweat. I get it. Well, I hope you at least got a few good records. Score anything good?” …PAUSE… Now, in both cases the “Well, if no photo, at least we can still talk about music” is paramount cuz it’s not just a letting-them-off-the-hook relief for them, but it’s a proper consolation prize for me for even daring myself just to approach them.

Anyway, I kinda took a combo approach with Suda san, photographed here, who initially politely declined with an encouraging, “…but I dig it, man”. But after a quick follow question from me about his T-Shirt, which he explained was a logo of beloved remote control car maker, Tamiya, and my trusty ol’ “Score anything good?” question, to which he pulled out this wild record, next thing you knew, we had been talking, really riffing on the street for like 20 non-stop minutes. Our conversation had become a kind of jazz improvisation, and for the first time, I actually compared this whole thing akin to making music.

My notes from our conversation, which I usually jot down as a few mental memos on my phone simply read:

Tamiya – RC Cars
Soul DJ



Little Feat
Happy End

“Tropical Trilogy”

Caramel Mama

TinPan Alley 

Akiko Yano

Shigeru Suzuki

…over those 20 minutes, we must have talked about more than a dozen different artists, laughing and riffing, and just “gelling” in our musical appreciation. By the time it was over, the only natural conclusion was “Well, what the hell! Let’s make that photo. We have to now just to commemorate this conversation.” And in the end, the photo is (as I’ve learned in doing so many of these portrait projects over the years) really secondary to this connection, to this conversation, to the fact that next time I see Suda or he sees me, I’m gonna say …PLAY… “SUDA! DUDE! Nice to see you again! OH MY GOD! I listened to BandWagon! How did that record evade me all this time! What a record! Let me buy you a beer! I owe you some huge thanks for that. By the way, what did you score today?…” …PAUSE… and it goes on and on and …PLAY…”THE WORLD GETS SMALLER THROUGH MUSIC!!!!”

Various – Blue Juice Vol. 2
Label: Blue Note – 7243 4 97158 2 1 3
Series: Blue Juice (2) – Vol. 2
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Stereo, Mono
Country: Europe
Released: 1998
Genre: Jazz, Latin
Style: Soul-Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk

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