Tomie Nakagawa

When I last visited Physical Store – Organic Music + Planet Baby, I may have tornado’d in a bit, I guess, (read: “NORM!” from Cheers) initiating some bolstered chat with a few familiar faces, as I’m wont to do, and I may have slightly disturbed, or at least caught off guard, I presume local regular (which I am not, but maybe slowly becoming) Mr. Tomie Nakagawa who seemed to be having an otherwise relatively quiet weekend afternoon, now with his daughter, son-in-law, and his grandchild having just returned to El Paso where they reside, after a two-week (no doubt, whirlwind) stay in Tokyo. Mr. Tomie-san now, bittersweetly, having his house back to himself, finally was able to enjoy some quiet sake and perhaps some refined hi-fi jazz down at the local record shop/bar, and here I was, barging in talking records and photos and disturbing the peace.

I never intend to bring the metaphorical jukebox to a screeching halt which is sometimes the nature of the stranger-in-a-strange-land beast (…but then again, that’s also getting to be less and less so, which is good, imho.) But it still happens, as it perhaps did on this occasion. But when the chance presented itself to give Mr. Tomie a big gregarious handshake and hello and say that I meant no harm, despite a bit of a language barrier, he opened right up and it became impossibly clear to see he was a super friendly guy. Still, I didn’t presume he’d want to be photographed for some random foreigner’s online photography/record project, and I didn’t want to disturb his sake episode at the bar any further, so I hesitated at first to also invite him outside for a photo when I had also asked Hisashi from the previous post, and Akitake from the next post, both who I assume where a decade or two younger. But Tomie was keen, very keen, and he busted out both his Dexter Gordon records that shopkeep and musicologist DJ, Chee Shimizu had sourced for him, and came outside to join in the fun. 

When I asked Tomie how old he was way, he started an animated jig, and enunciated in his best English yet,  “When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now,” then a “doodle-l’doodle-l’doo” from me, then back to him: “Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine?” Next thing you knew, together we had literally sung, with all our hearts, no mind to every passer-byer on the street, every last lyric together of the Beatles’ “When I’m 64” immediately followed by a big “HORRAY!” and an instant embrace. Wow! That was a special little scene in my movie of life.   

Thanks, Tomie. See you at “Gin” someday, your favorite drinking hold in Shinagawa that you invited me to. 

More Tokyo Record Style on the way!

Dexter Gordon – Dexter Blows Hot And Cool
Label: Venus Records – TKJV-19017, Dootone Records – DL-207
Series: Venus Hyper Magnum Sound LP Collection, Dootone Modern Jazz Series
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Country: Japan
Released: Dec 20, 1998
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop

Dexter Gordon – Blues Walk! The Montmartre Collection Vol. II
Label: Black Lion Records – BL-309
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1974
Genre: Jazz
Style: Post Bop

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