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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kaori Kobayashi -- Walk In The Night

I had been planning to be already in bed by now (it's 11:57 pm as I write this) but then I suddenly had a recollection of an old show from the 80s produced right here in Toronto. Well, perhaps it would be too ambitious to call it a show; it 's perhaps better to call it a video walk in the evening downtown.

Yup, way back when, there was a 30-minute program called "Night Moves" which aired in the overnight hours on Global TV (whose headquarters has continued to be not too far away from my home very close to the Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre). It consisted of some night owl cameraman and producer prowling around the downtown streets of my hometown while some relaxing jazz-fusion music was playing in the background. According to the Wiki article, the producer had this brain wave of having something a bit more stimulating than a test pattern. Supposedly, the largest viewership came from insomniacs and prison inmates.

Hey, you can include all-nighter-pulling university undergrads like me as well. Not being a particularly prudent student, I did my share of overnight work on essays in my room and at the time, my room didn't have a television set (or a computer with YouTube capability...we are talking about the 80s, y'know), so when things were starting to get a little too tense there, I would sneak back into the living room at about 2:30 or 3 am and catch "Night Moves" or "Night Ride" or whatever title it came under just to unwind before hitting the books. It worked well...sometimes too well...let's say that I got multiples of forty winks at times watching this show.

During my years in Japan, NHK did its own similar thing in the overnight hours as well but it featured hit kayo kyoku from the past against daytime scenes of western Shinjuku or other places in Tokyo. Perhaps on that basis, it was more successful than Toronto's "Night Moves" in keeping the night owls awake.

Anyways, if "Night Moves" were still around, I wouldn't mind having the featured song for this article playing. This is "Walk In The Night" by jazz saxophonist-flautist-composer Kaori Kobayashi(小林香織). I don't often put up jazzy instrumental pieces but reminded of my old Toronto show, I started doing a bit of scouring on YouTube to see if there was some example of Japanese smooth jazz which could have fit into "Night Moves". So I came across this calm and collected and cool song by Kobayashi who hails from Kanagawa Prefecture and started her career in 2005. Perhaps it's a bit more uptempo for a show about walking the late night hours but it's still got a pleasant nocturnal urban vibe to it.

I was able to track down the song to her 3rd album from March 2007, "Glow" via her own website. seems that almost all of my Kobayashis on the blog have something to do with J-AOR/jazz. I've got Akiko, Kei and now there is Kaori to add. But then there is still Sachiko who is firmly in the enka genre.

Time to put this one to bed. It's 12:27am.

Shimbashi, Tokyo

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