Real Blues People: Jazz in Japan
It is these people’s stories, gleaned from significant historical moments and told in an evolutionary narrative, that eloquently provide the body and soul of Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan. A sense of chronology is evident in the book, but its six principal chapters revolve around key themes. The cast of characters is huge and contains many names probably “deserving of wider recognition” by American listeners.
This book is highly recommended for readers interested in Japanese history and culture, particularly since World War II, as well as the history and culture of jazz. In the year in which Ken Burns’s Jazz: A Film appeared, a film that neglects to mention many aspects of jazz besides jazz in Japan, Taylor Atkins’ book begins to fill a significant gap in our knowledge of the music.