I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shozo Ise -- Moonlight

(cover version)

This was another song from my old tapes. I hadn't known who was behind the vocals, so I was surprised to find out it was singer-songwriter Shozo Ise(伊勢正三), since as a member of 70s band Kaguyahime(かぐや姫), he was behind J-Folk classics such as "Nagori Yuki" (なごり雪) and "Kandagawa" (神田川).

Instead of folk, though, "Moonlight", his 2nd single as a solo artist, is a nice slice of urban contemporary with some sax and a bit of piano jazz near the end. As I listen to it, I don't envision living in a tiny dilapidated wooden apartment by the Kanda River....this is more lounging in a luxurious rooftop bar by the skyscrapers of West Shinjuku while swirling two fingers of Old Parr. And Ise seems to fit very comfortably in this genre judging from this song. It was also a track on his 2nd album, "Nagisa Yuku" (渚ゆく...To The Beach), a City Pop-themed release which came out in March 1981.

Ise wasn't the only one amongst his contemporaries to make a jump from Folk to City Pop. Iruka(イルカ) also dipped her toes into the genre at around the same time.

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