Tagged: Music

Kenny G @ Blue Note / ケニーGの演奏・エンキョリレンアイの話とか・不思議な夢の話

October 17th, 2013, Thursday

Yes, I’m already fit in my life in NY, but sometimes, especially such a night today, I’m surprised to realize to be here, or wonder “Why am I seeing Kenny G, a super star I never dreamed to see in the past? Oh, here’s Manhattan, I’m in Blue Note…” First I heard about him when I was in a brass band club in junior high school. Our teacher told us about his technique, circular breathing, which enables him to play as if endlessly, and introduced to us music videos of his wonderful performance. What I watched and listened tonight was, so amazing. I don’t have good vocabulary to describe it, but just so awesome…! Sometimes moody, melodious, other times dynamic. I had no chance to be tired. It felt the time passed so fast, despite his endless sound by circular breathing.

Not only the performance, his talk was also fun. He told us that he and his band members are ‘by-products of public school education,’ with a soprano sax on his hand, which he used for more than 20 years since his high school. He talked about an episode at White House when he performed for President. Humorous and warm, his talk reflected his attractive personality, in line with his sound.

I never forget such as wonderful night.


6pmの開場前に合流して列に並んだ。ブルーノートはバー席(予約なし早い者勝ち入場料$45)とテーブル席(予約ありだけど場所は早い者勝ち入場料$75)があって、しがない大学院生の僕らはバー席にしたのだけど(値段も演奏者によって微妙に違う。Kenny Gみたいなスーパースターは高い)、運良く座ることができた。









Instant harmony on S-train

11th May 2013, Saturday
S in S-train stands for “Shuttle.” The horizontal line runs 42nd street and takes me from Times Square to Grand Central only within a few minutes. In the afternoon I got on the S-train to go back to Times Square after cutting my hair at a salon in Midtown-East, and found there a man playing the guitar. Before the train starts, he lightly played his original song, and after that, as usual for train-performers, promoted his $5 album and called for donation. The train started, then he chose “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson for our short run to Times Square. He played intro, mocking drums by his voice and playing a string line by his guitar. One guy on the same train said to him something (I couldn’t hear well though) and he replied casually, and then skipped several lines and jumped to the part “People always told me Be careful what you do” cos soon the train was arriving to the station. Most of the passengers looked enjoying his song and talk. Finally he sang “Don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts” and said “everybody say!” “””Heee!””” we replied. “Thank you, thank you! Have a nice weekend!” We got off the train and he remained. I really love such an “instant harmony” in our daily Manhattan life.

Sound of A-Train

4th May 2013

It is no longer surprising for me to meet performers who suddenly play music or dance on subway in New York City since I’ve already stayed here more than 8 months, nor even no longer annoying. It never happens in Japan, but now I enjoy such performance without being irritated even though they interrupt my silent reading. To be honest, I do not like aggressive breakdance performance using pipes on the train by young boys so much, but still it’s ok unless they accidentally kick me. Most of the sounds of such subway songs and dances jolly and boisterous ones. But today’s sound I met in the afternoon was a little different, and therefore comfortable for me.

I was on an express A-train and going down to Canal Street in SOHO from 168th street in Washington Heights. I like A-train, cos he lightly passes most of the station within Upper-West Manhattan. I was reading an interesting book about “soundscape” by Raymond Murray Schafer, while the A-train was running through Upper-West without stopping from 125th to 42nd. At first I was concentrated on the book, but gradually become aware of a moody music coming to my ears, and I found one guy was singing the song with his CD playing. For a change, it was an R&B music, which I rarely hear on subway. He’s from Puerto Rico. His moody and melodious sound matched today’s mood of myself combined with a dark, continuing express road. I closed my book and listened to his sound, while looking out of the window from my seat, which was put parallel to the direction of the train. Outside of the window was almost dark, but sometimes blue light on the wall of tunnel cut across. I saw my face reflected on the window without thinking anything. Stable clickety-clack sound of the subway wheel made a session with percussions of his CD, and he sang on that. Whenever I meet such a gift from NYC, I imagine if you like this town.