Thursday, 12 February 2015

Jazz Kissaten @ Madhus Cafe

I'm holding down a new gig:

Jazz Kissaten at Madhus Cafe, 982 Kingston Road from 1 pm to 4 pm, every third Sunday of the month.

In its own way, Jazz Kissaten aims to import the jazz café vibe of mid-century Japan.

The post World War II period saw Tokyo and Kyoto go nuts, or salt-peanuts rather, for jazz. Stationed GIs, French New Wave film scores and rare but influential live performances by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers brought the African American art form to the Pacific Rim. But due to the prohibitive cost of importing records and owning personal hi-fi stereos, as well as the absence of native jazz radio stations, local cafés became the go-to cultural hubs for hearing these sought-after blue notes.

At these kissaten, patrons indulged in the proprietors' curated collections, often thousands of records deep, which were either broadcasted over the in-house sound system to hushed audiences or loaned as reference works for study via headphones in private or semi-private booths. As BBC Travel explains, "To this day, these kissa are still more like vinyl audio museums than places to grab a coffee."

That brings us to Jazz Kissaten at Madhus. I'll be spinning jazz, latin, brazilian, soul, and afrobeat records from my currated collection. But please talk all you want. If you didn't bring a friend, you can even talk to me. I'd love to meet you or catch up. And unlike in Japan, the coffee and food are anything but ancillary to the music. I highly recommend the Jerk Box for lunch, followed by an Americano and an "everything" cookie - they contain oats, chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels and score bits.

Jazz Kissaten
Madhus Cafe
982 Kingston Road
1 - 4 pm
Every Third Sunday of the Month

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