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.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Jake H. Concepcion -- Dangerous Night

Earlier today, I received a comment from Helen stating that she had enjoyed the rendition of that song from the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", "Pure Imagination" as covered by saxophonist extraordinaire, Jake H. Concepcion(ジェイク・コンセプション). Just on a Sunday whim, I took a look around to see what other gems had Concepion worked on, starting with his J-Wiki article...

....only to find out that Concepcion had passed away in early December 2017 at the age of 81. Now, my job is not to seek and search out any deaths in the Japanese music community when they occur, but on finding out that Concepcion had died, I did feel badly that I didn't realize this sooner. The reason is that his name was one of the most prolific when it came to musicians taking part in an album. Many was a time that Concepion was listed in the liner notes of the various records and CDs and audiotapes that I had purchased.

But of course, it wasn't just his seeming omnipresence that was the key to my liking him. When I saw his name attached to a song, I knew right then and there that there would be either a lovely soulful solo by the sax-man or his welcome contribution to a really good horn section. Concepcion was that extra spice by itself or as part of a musical spice bag that enhanced a fine number.

On both his J-Wiki page and another site, there is a long list of songs that benefited from his participation. For instance, he gave that wonderful solo on the Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子)classic "Sweet Memories", and he was also involved in the Anri(杏里)touchstone "Kanashimi ga Tomaranai"(悲しみがとまらない)and also "Young Man (YMCA)" by Hideki Saijo(西城秀樹), another mainstay of Japanese music who has also left this mortal coil recently.

I found this solo effort that Concepcion had performed called "Dangerous Night" that was used as the second opening theme for the 1988 season of cop show "Jungle"(ジャングル). Veteran composer Tetsuji Hayashi(林哲司)concocted this dynamic city adrenalin rush showcasing the saxophonist, and if the title of the song and even that of the TV show sound familiar to you frequent KKP readers, it is because I had already spoken about the B-side for the single, the ballad by Masayuki Kishi(岸正之)"Long Way To Love" just two weeks ago.

It is sad that Jake H. Concepcion has gone but it is great that his contributions to music remains. Plus, for all those folks who have been discovering and relishing Japanese pop music of the 1970s and 1980s recently starting from Vaporwave/Future Funk Music and YouTube channels such as Van Paugam and New J Channel, there is a good chance that you will come across his work.


  1. Hello J-Canuck,

    Just a heads up, since we are talking about the passing of musicians, I just found out that Jiro Terao (寺尾 次郎) died a few days ago via Toshi Kanazawa's Light Mellow blog.

    He was the bassist for Sugar Babe after Kikuo Kanazawa left. However, after the dissolution of Sugar Babe, he also played for such luminaries as Eiichi Ohtaki (Niagara Triangle), Tatsura Yamashita, and Takako Ohnuki among others.

    His daughter (Saiho Terao - 寺尾紗穂) also followed in his footsteps and released albums beginning in the mid-to-late aughties up to the present. I've been checking out her oeuvre and she gives me those live house aught era vibe from places like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Shimokitazawa.

    Here is a sample of her work.

    I a currently catching up on some of her stuff on Youtube and I am intrigued.

    Anywho thanks for listening to me ramble.

    1. Hello, Chasing Showa.

      Thanks for letting me know about the passing of Jiro Terao. It's too bad about Terao since he was only 62 and as someone who has worried in the past about the possibility of stomach cancer, I'm keenly aware when anyone has come down with any form of the disease.

      I've listened to his daughter's "Osonai Futari" (from the link you sent me) along with "Ienaki Hito", and I have to say that I am also intrigued since she actually sounds somewhat like her father's old bandmate, Taeko Ohnuki. She's been around for some time in the music industry as well...maybe around 15 years. Gonna have to do some more listening.


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