The Organ Bar, Shibuya
I'm going to skip doing an overall update on my trip to Tokyo this week. I will tell you all the highlight of the trip, though. And boy was this a highlight.
As you all probably know, Tokyo has one of the most difficult address systems in the world. There are few streets grids, and endless districts and wards. Not only are there sub-divisions of each area of the city (i.e. Shibuya or Shinjuku), but not all of these sub-divisions are seperately named. So there are, for example, 5 Jingumaes.
Anyway, although it took me a really long time to find the Organ Bar, I felt so fulfilled when I actually found the sign.
I read about a DJ party that was happening at the bar on the 19th. The headlining DJ was ... Konishi Yasuharu. That's right ... the guy who formed Pizzicato Five 21 years ago. The group is now borken up, but I am still absolutely fascinated by the man's work, dedication to his style of music (which can loosely be described as light dance jazz and easy listening), and his amazing ability to replicate that style which, unfortunately, died many years ago. I had to go.
I got to the place at about 9, not knowing if it would fill up fast or not get going until later. In total, about 20 people showed up. They all knew each other and they were all friends. Really cool to be in the closely knit group of friends.
Konishi showed up at about 10. His "protege" and friend had been DJing until his arrival (a mix of 60s Latin jazz and big band stuff), and I was having a great time anyway.
The man walked in and one of my friends said, "Ah -- there's Yasuharu-san," as though it was totally normal to see him. And it was, apparently. I greeted him and we discussed Nomiya Maki's new album, jazz, Pizzicato Five, and various music-related topics for quite some time over the course of the 8-hour event. Wow. I cannot believe that I met - and had a great discussion with - one of my childhood heroes. I wanted to go to a Pizzicato Five concert so bad when I was a kid. Just say "hi" to the duo and then leave ... fulfilled and proud. I got so much more. One of the coolest atmospheres I've ever experienced in a club, and certainly the most meaningful encounter I've ever had in such a place.
I just cannot believe that I stumbled across the one bar in Tokyo that still upholds the Shibuya-kei tradition. The one bar that had Konishi Yasuharu in it that night. The one bar that ... that ...
My knowledge of Shibuya-kei, jazz, and music in general really helped me break the ice and I had a great time. I am still re-living the experience. Just can't believe it. Wow ...
On a related note, one of the girls that I met at the club told me that her brother-in-law is in Guitar Wolf. Of all the millions of people in Tokyo ... wow. The world is much smaller than I ever thought it to be.