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, August 23, 2020

JiLL-Decoy association -- Hoshi wo Tayori ni(星を頼りに)

This was another band that I discovered through the annals of the "Light Mellow" City Pop/AOR series of CDs, and I think they specialize in some of that lovely jazzy pop that I've been hearing from various groups such as Blu-Swing and orange pekoe.

JiLL-Decoy association is a three-piece jazz group that's been around since 2002 that is made up of chihiRo (vocals), kubota (guitar) and towada (drums). According to their J-Wiki profile, the three of them have been producing original songs based on jazz, funk, pop and rock and have gained their popularity through their live performances. Guitarist kubota, after having returned to Japan from studying jazz and absorbing influences from other genres such as hip-hop and R&B in New York City, hit it off with towada who had been learning jazz in Chicago. Then, on meeting with chihiRo at a jazz session, JiLL-Decoy association was born.

This particular piece, "Hoshi wo Tayori ni" (Relying on the Stars) belongs to "Lovely", one of a trilogy of albums (which includes "Lining" and "DECADE") that was released throughout 2012 to celebrate the band's 10th anniversary. It's an attractive jazz-groovy pop fusion with lyrics by chihiRo and music by chihiRo & kubota that sounds as if it had been recorded right then and there during one of their concerts in a very oshare cafe somewhere in Omotesando or Aoyama. Everybody contributes some wonderful ingredients into this cake: chihiRo's soulful voice, kubota's bluesy guitar and towada's grounding drums, but I also can't neglect whoever is taking care of the piano as well.

Over the nearly 2 decades that they've been performing, JiLL-Decoy association has released various singles and albums through CD and digital download formats with their latest coming out in March 2019 as their 9th full album, "Generate the Times". kubota finished his time with the band at the end of that year.

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