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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

H ZETTRIO -- Ashita no Waltz(あしたのワルツ)

From iamsteveu2

Yeah, that's the Aflac Duck above. I never thought that he would ever come into the pages of "Kayo Kyoku Plus" but there you are and there he is. Even in Japan, the insurance industry's only avian spokesbeing has become a fixture on television.

Now, why would I talk about the Aflac Duck? Well, a few weeks ago on NHK's "Banana Zero Music"(バナナ♪ゼロミュージック), this triumvirate of clowns who looked like they appeared from the old "Red Skelton" variety show popped up for one segment. I was rather intrigued by this group called H ZETTRIO so I did a bit more digging and found out that they were this jazz piano trio that has been around since 2013.

And in doing my musical archaeology, I came across this lovely example of piano jazz by them called "Ashita no Waltz" (Waltz for Tomorrow) from 2014. It's quite reminiscent of "Waltz for Debby" by Bill Evans, the pianist who finally brought me aboard into the jazz world while I was living in Japan. Probably it would make for a nice theme song for a walk in Ueno Park.

OK, I am now getting to the Aflac connection. Apparently, "Ashita no Waltz" was used as the campaign song for the insurance company's series of commercials. There is something quite soothing about the tune, and certainly the title is quite hopeful.

H ZETTRIO consists of pianist H ZETT, bassist H ZETT NIRE and drummer H ZETT KOU. H ZETT, aka Masayuki Hiizumi(樋泉昌之),  was a member of a couple of bands, the jazz instrumental group Pe'z in 1999 and then Ringo Shiina's(椎名林檎)Tokyo Jihen(東京事変)for about a year between 2004 and 2005.

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