11 August 2017


What a summer Haruka Kikuchi has been enjoying! She was in Italy with The Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band for the Umbria Jazz Festival, where they played a series of performances. Several very good videos from those have appeared on YouTube.

And then she spent some time on a trip back home to Japan, where she met up again with her old friends - that very fine band The New Orleans Jazz Hounds.

The generous video-maker codenamed ragtimecave seems to have filmed almost an entire gig. Yes, there's a whole batch of glorious videos. They play storming versions of standards such as Clarinet Marmalade, Somebody Else Is Taking My PlaceSavoy Blues, and Down in Honky Tonk Town. One of my favourites is an eight-minute version of Marie, in which Haruka is joined by two other excellent trombonists, making a 'front line' entirely of trombones. Each takes a couple of solo choruses, with the other two providing a tasteful riffing backing to the second chorus. They also play an exciting 'front line only' chorus. Watch it by clicking here.

So we get to see Haruka, with the brilliant clarinet star Tamura Makiko, both in their kimonos. Wonderful! Watch them on Buddy Bolden's Blues by clicking here.

I hear that Tamura Makiko is likely to be visiting New Orleans for a holiday in October. Haruka intends to make some recordings with her.

As regular readers will know, Haruka is my unofficial adopted grand-daughter! I have so much enjoyed meeting her in New Orleans. Here we are earlier this year.