Perhaps I can invent a new J-Pop genre right here: skayo (ska + kayo). Not sure if some enterprising journalist has already come up with the name but I think Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra's "Sapphire no Hoshi" (The Star of Sapphire) could become a representative entry. For some reason, listening to TSPO's 29th single from February 2006 just has this feeling for me of ska overlaying an old-fashioned 60s Japanese pop song.
That's some breathiness by guest vocalist CHARA for "Sapphire no Hoshi". She sounds like skates gliding on ice while the Orchestra provides some fine mellow music for a Monday night. No matter the venue...in an intimate underground nightclub or a huge stadium under a night sky, the song sounds just like you want keep on sipping on a cocktail for the rest of the evening with a significant other.
Band keyboardist Yuichi Oki（沖祐市）composed the song with saxophonist Atsushi Yanaka（谷中敦） providing the lyrics. "Sapphire no Hoshi" managed to get as high as No. 16 on Oricon and is included on Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra's 12th album, "Wild Peace" from June 2006 which peaked at No. 2 on the album charts. The single was also the 2nd of a trio of duets of which the finale was TSPO's duet with Hiroto Komoto（甲本ヒロト）, "Hoshi Furu Yoru ni"（星降る夜に）.