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.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

akiko -- Good Morning Heartache

Finished off my final lesson with my student for this year and then I caught some of "The Da Vinci Code" with a horribly-coiffed Tom Hanks. I never caught onto the Dan Brown books despite how crazy the mania became for them. Apparently, the impression that I got from them was that the book was basically airport kiosk material that punched way above its weight.

Anyways, it's past 11pm as I write this on a Saturday night, and it's time to cool down before retiring, so perhaps a bit of slow and mellow nighttime jazz is in order. I found this one sung by akiko, a jazz singer from Saitama. There's another singer with the same stage name although she's in the R&B genre and started her career about half a decade earlier in the mid-1990s, which is why I've distinguished this akiko with the (jazz) attachment.

From her 2003 4th album "akiko's holiday", I bring you "Good Morning Heartache", a cover of a Billie Holiday standard from 1946 created by Irene Higginbotham, Ervin Drake, and Dan Fisher. During my jazz phase, I did go to a few concerts and clubs here and there in Tokyo such as Dug in Shinjuku, and one regret that I do have is that I never got to see one of those trios or quartets playing the cool jazz of the 1950s. I'm not sure if I have my genres correct, but perhaps to pin things down a bit further, I did enjoy the material by folks like Chet Baker and Bill Evans.

akiko's take on "Good Morning Heartache" has that feeling. Curling smoke lifting from a cigarette and a glass of scotch being nursed gently close to the midnight hour in a small club is the image I have when I hear this. I like all sorts of jazz but this is the type of stuff I like when it gets close to closing time. Another reason that I like "Good Morning Heartache" is that the arrangement here reminds me of old episodes from the "Night Ride" series that I used to watch while I was pulling an all-nighter for my studies back in the 1980s. It's all-so-nostalgic watching what downtown Toronto looked like when I was still a university student.

For comparison's sake, here is the original by the divine Lady Day. Sleep tight.

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