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7 October 2017


Just watch this video of young Japanese musicians playing High Society. Wouldn't you agree that they are emerging as one of the very best traditional jazz bands in the world? CLICK HERE TO VIEW.

I have written before about the very fine jazz being played in the Tokyo area by young Japanese musicians.

Well, there has appeared a batch of videos put up on YouTube by that very generous film-maker who calls himself ragtimecave. They show a band called P Time Selection and I must recommend them to you. To watch them playing Ballin' The Jack, CLICK HERE. And for Creole Love CallCLICK HERE.

You can also see them playing at the Sumida Street Jazz Festival in Tokyo on 19 August 2017.
Unfortunately, the Jazz Festival was outdoors on  a breezy day,  so the sound quality is not quite perfect. But you can't help admiring the balance, the skills of the individual players, the fine improvisations, and the teamwork.

According to the video-maker, the musicians are Tamura Makiko (clarinet), Kitaura Yasuri (trumpet), Mauyama Tomomitu (banjo), Imaizumi Mari (keyboard), Arai Kentaro (bass) and Miwa Tomohiko (drums) and Watanabe Taiki (trombone).

Many of us have admired the wonderful playing of Tamura Makiko. And now here she is also in the rôle of leader. What a great band she has assembled! Her own playing throughout is a joy. You could start with their fine performance of Careless LoveCLICK HERE.

For a contrast of tempo, try this cracking performance of Weary BluesCLICK HERE.

In the other P Time Selection videos, you will find such tunes as Panama and a very spirited version of Jesus on the Main Line. There is even Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? with a very sweet vocal from Tamura.
And now - in June 2018 - I have received the email below from Dag Ekholm in Sweden. I agree with what he says: Tamura Makiko's band has reached a sensational new level, probably as good as anything you will find anywhere. Watch their version of West End Blues, filmed on 19 May 2018, by the excellent RagtimecaveCLICK HERE.

The musicians, we are told, are:
Tamura Makiko, clarinet
Kanno Atushi, trumpet
Watanabe Taiki, trombone
Imaizumi Mari, piano
Arai Kentaro, bass
Miwa Tomohiko, drums
Maruyama Tomomitu, banjo

Dag's email:
I have long considered Makiko Tamura one of the best New Orleans jazz clarinetists in the world today. I am also a great fan of her band, P-Time Selection, an excellent band with all very talented and skilled musicians, in my opinion.
There were several wonderful recordings of P-Time Selection last year, 2017, e.g. Feb 17, May 20, Aug 19 and Sep 18, as you have also mentioned in your blog.
Makiko made only three videos (and a few audios) during her visit to New Orleans in Oct 2017, all of them fantastic, one with Shotgun Jazz Band. Then she recorded a wonderful and highly inspired ”Tamura Makiko session” in November with a smaller group
But after that not so much happened during the winter – there were a few sessions with PTS which I find good but slightly less interesting. So I began to wonder if they were losing momentum.
But then it explodes with the session May 19, recently. I was completely stunned and speechless. It is so excellent!! I think it is a breakthrough, that the band has taken a leap to a completely new level.
I am no musician, only a listener and fan of N.O. music, and I can not analyze it. But I hear the new sound, the brilliant ensemble play and inspired solos by all of the members. The trumpet player is new and very skilled. Mari on piano is better than ever before. Furthermore they seem very happy. It really sounds as something new and great.