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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kenji Omura -- Left-Handed Woman

Another accidental find on YouTube folks talking about Japanese funk on the video site? Well, here's another song right at you. Kenji Omura's(大村憲司)"Left-Handed Woman" is a fun piece of fusion from my childhood days. It was the lead track on Omura's 2nd album, "Kenji Shock" from 1978.

It's an instrumental piece so I was wondering whether to place it as a City Pop tune since there are no lyrics to denote it as such, but heck, I couldn't imagine hearing Omura playing this in the middle of a rice paddy, so City Pop it is. Listening to it, I can only think of big tall skyscrapers and smoothly running monorails such as the one running by Tokyo Bay. Plus, when I think of time, I reminisce back to some of those fusion bands that I used to hear back in the late 70s and early 80s such as Spyro Gyra and Steely Dan.

The name Kenji Omura as well as his kanji sounded quite familiar to me which meant that I've probably seen it when I was writing other articles for the blog. And as it turns out, not only was he a guitarist but he was also a composer and an arranger who helped out on many albums such as EPO's "Vitamin E-P-O", Taeko Ohnuki's(大貫妙子)"Sunshower" and Akiko Yano's(矢野顕子)"Gohan ga Dekita yo"(ごはんができたよ), all winning releases to me.

It was sad to hear, though, that Omura had passed away at the young age of 49 in 1998 due to liver disease. As someone who has just passed the half-century mark very recently and is recovering from a bit of a health issue, his departure from this mortal coil at such an early point had me thinking. The YouTube video by uploader Himawaritai above is from a tribute concert for Omura in 2000 with his son Shinji taking his place on stage. Akiko Yano is right up there with him on the piano.

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