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, April 25, 2015

orange pekoe -- Taiyo no Kakera (太陽のかけら)

A few weeks back, I wrote on paris match's "Saturday" which was this sunny and groovy driving tune from the early 2000s. As I stated there, one of my students had suggested the band to me as a cool unit with that mix of bossa and jazz.

Well, another band with an aversion to capital letters from the same time and in the same genre that I've heard is orange pekoe. Unlike paris match, though, I never got an album or single by them, but my recent purchase of "Light Mellow -- Dancing" has a track by them which is incidentally their 1st single from August 2001. "Taiyo no Kakera" (Pieces of a Sun) launches right off the bat with vocalist and lyricist Tomoko Nakajima's(ナガシマトモコ)scatting before this happy jazz riff takes things into the stratosphere. I do love that frenetic bass! Nakajima's guitar-playing partner, Kazuma Fujimoto(藤本一馬)took care of the music and some of the instruments although that old-fashioned bass was handled by Tatsu Kase加瀬達...hope that's the right reading). Time to run gleefully along the shore.

Before hearing about this duo, orange pekoe to me was the type of tea that I used to have every morning for breakfast as a kid. Not that my family was a bunch of Anglophiles, mind you, but it was what we all drank for many years and still do from time to time (coffee's usually the thing for us now). The duo orange pekoe was formed when Nakajima and Fujimoto met as grad students at Kwansei Gakuin University in Osaka, and then started doing the rounds at cafes and live houses, before coming out with "Taiyo no Kakera". The single itself managed to peak at No. 95 on the Oricon weeklies but it was also on their debut album, "Organic Plastic Music" which was released in May 2002. It soared up to No. 5 on the album charts and ended the year as the 75th-ranked album.

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