• One last record 最後の一枚
    Everyone has that one song, that one album, that they will never forget.
    When the sound plays, it transcends time and brings back memories.
    What is the music you want to listen to at the end of your life?
    Photographer Akira Kobayashi’s selection is Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus.

    One last record



     私は何年も前から老いのミニマムライフ楽しんでいます。どうしてこんなに走行30万キロの車からMGやMINIのレーシング部品、ブリテッシュ・グリーン色の数々のミニカーとスケートボードにサーフボードに小さな文具にいたるまで遊び道具が多いのに呆れ驚く。しかもそれらは本当に好きになり真面目に一緒に遊んできた物達です。それ故別れがたくもあり時間をかけて処分してきました。アナログ的なオーディオセットはLPと共に割りと簡単に捨てる事が出来ました。その時に捨てないで思い出に残しておいた最後の一枚のLPがソニー・ロリンズのサキソフォン・コロサスです。高校に入学した頃初めて買った思い出深いLPです。当時確か日本盤はプレステージではなくトップランクという名のレーベルでした。ジャケットはオリジナルデザインなのにレコード盤のレーベル印刷がプレステージではないのが残念でしかたなかったのですが、毎日小さなLP兼用のEPプレーヤーに針を下ろしていました。日本盤の粗末なジャケットが擦り切れる頃には本物の輸入盤を数寄屋橋の輸入盤専門店ハンターで手に入れていました。 「このアルバムはジャズの不滅の名盤としてまっ先に挙げられる一枚である」これはレコード業界の決まり文句ですが、私の個人的想いもあってこればっかりは異論を挟めない。天才的ドラマーのマックス・ローチを除き全員二十歳前半、若さ弾けんばかりの名セッションです。これぞジャズという感じの母親の故郷の島をテーマにした一曲目のセント・トーマスという曲が大好きで思わず一緒に唄わずにはいられないほどでした。のちに知るのですがカリブの島々が大国の奴隷貿易の一端を担っていた。ロリンズの祖先も米国領セント・トーマス島を経由してたどり着いた。そんな事を思うと益々ソニー・ロリンズを好きになっていったのを思い出す。私はその頃から音楽そのものが大好きで音質などのクォリティーは二の次でクラシックやジャズにロック、魂の込もった音楽なら何でも良かったのです。

     私の音楽は幾つかの事に影響されたと思っています。それは戦争直後の貧しい中でも電蓄とレコードがあり父親は大切に聴いていたのを覚えています。 母の愚痴によると私を身ごもっている時も彼はレコードばかり聴いていたそうです。それからもうひとつは小学生の一年から六年生まで担任が同じ先生で、しかも学校全体の音楽の先生でした。それ故に音楽の授業以外でも事あるごとに音楽の素晴らしさを話し、モーツアルトやシューベルトを美しいテノールで唄ってくれた。そんな大らかなちょっと変わった担任の先生をクラス全員が大好きでした。

     何年も前に仕事で滞在して撮影したカリブ海のフランス領マルティニーク島で仕事も無事終わりDay offをくつろいでいました。南国の島特有の早朝に降る雨の爽やかな瑞々しい風が草木の香りを伴い、古い石畳みの中庭を吹き抜けて行く。そしてそのあとを追うようにソニー・ロリンズの曲セント・トーマスも中庭を吹き抜ける。私は一瞬、耳を疑って信じられなかったが確かに誰かがイントロのフレーズのリフレーンの部分をテナーサックスで練習している様子です。アメリカ領セント・トーマス島の近くのフランス領マルティニーク島で、音楽は民族や国や言葉も越えて感情をも伝えられる人間の共通の言葉だと思う瞬間でした。私は南の島小さなホテルの中庭で幸せでした。だからこのアルバムを聴くと今でもあの時の中庭を思い出し幸せになります。

    saxophone colossus/sonny rollins

    写真家。1940年東京生まれ。1960年代、 ビートニクスに憧れアメリカへ渡る。旅をしながら当時のアメリカ社会をフィルムに記録 する。以後、パンクカルチャー全盛期のロンドンで活躍し日本へ。コマーシャル、雑誌と 幅広く活躍する。『P.O.P』など著作、多数


    One last record

    Text & Photo: Akira Kobayashi

    I have been enjoying a minimalist life as the aged for many years. I was amazed at myself having so many playthings such as a car with 300,000 kilometers on the odometer, car racing components of MG and MINI , many miniature cars in British green, skateboards, surfboards, and small stationery. And they are things that I have really come to like and been playing with seriously. I was so reluctant to part from them that I had taken the time to get rid of them. I was able to discard the analog audio set rather easily, along with the LPs. One of the last LPs I kept as a memory instead of throwing it away at that time is Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins. This is a memorable LP that I bought for the first time when I entered high school. At the time, the Japanese version was not on Prestige, but on a label called Top Rank. I couldn't help but be disappointed that the label printing on the record was not Prestige, even though the jacket was an original design. Every day I would put the needle down the record on my little LP/EP player.

    By the time the shoddy jackets of the Japanese disc was worn out, I had gotten the real import disc at Hunter, an imported vinyl specialty store in Sukiyabashi. “This album is one of the first to be listed as one of the immortal masterpieces of jazz.” This is a cliché in the record industry, but I can't argue with it, partly because of my own personal feelings.

    With the exception of the genius drummer Max Roach, all the members were in their early twenties, and it was a great session full of youthful energy. I loved the first song, St. Thomas, a song about his mother's home island, which I find out what jazz was all about, and I couldn't help but sing along with it.

    As I would later learn, the islands of The Caribbean were part of a great power's slave trade. Rollins' ancestors also arrived in the U.S. via Saint Thomas, U.S. Territories. When I think about this, I remember how much I fell in love with Sonny Rollins. Since then, I've always loved just music, not the quality of the sound. So I was happy to listen to classical, jazz, rock, or any music with a soul.

     I believe that my music preference was influenced by several things.

    I remember that even though we were poor right after the war, we had a gramophone and records, and my father loved to listen to them. My mother often complained that even when she was having me, my father would listen to records all the time.

    Another thing was that I had the same homeroom teacher from the first to the sixth grade, and he was also the music teacher for the whole grades. He talked very much about the beauty of music not only in the music class but at every opportunity, and sang Mozart and Schubert in his beautiful tenor. Everyone in the class loved this generous and a slightly unusual homeroom teacher.

     I was relaxing on my day off after a successful work trip to the French Caribbean island of Martinique, where I stayed and photographed for work many years ago. A fresh breeze from the early morning rain, typical of tropical islands, blew through the old stone-folded courtyard, accompanied by the scent of grass and trees. The song St. Thomas sounded through the courtyard as if it followed the wind.

    I couldn't believe my ears for a moment, but sure enough, someone was practicing the tenor saxophone refraining the part of the intro phrase. On the French island of Martinique, near the American island of St. Thomas, I had a great experience. That was the moment I realized music is a human common language that can convey emotions beyond ethnicity, country, or language. I was happy in the courtyard of a small hotel on a southern island. Whenever I listen to this album, it makes me happy to remember that courtyard.

    Saxophone Colossus/Sonny Rollins

    Saxophone Colossus is the album by American jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. It was released by Prestige Records in 1956. Immediately after its release, the album received rave reviews from the media and made his name known around the world. This album is one of the masterpieces of the legend, who turns 91 this year. This album is loved by his fans as Saki Colo.

    Profile A photographer born in 1940. In the 1960s, he went over to the U.S. longing for Beatnik.  As he traveled, he documented the American society of the time on film. Since then, he had been active in London during the heyday of punk culture and went back to Japan. He has been active in a wide range of fields, including commercials and magazines. Author of "P.O.P" and many other books.

  • Jimi Hendrix カリスマの素顔
    類縁の一人が、1960年代を駆け抜けて 急逝した天才について語る。
    Jimi Hendrix is a revolutionary in the music world.
    Do you know that there was a Japanese member of his family?
    One of his relatives talks about the genius who died suddenly in the 1960s.

    Jimi Hendrix



     叔父の家にホームステイすることになったんですが、叔母のハナ はアーティストで型破りな人だったんです。家に着いた早々、コー ヒーを飲みながら彼女が言ったんです。「あなたは聞いたことがな いだろうけれども、実はあなたの親戚に、とても著名なミュージシ ャンがいるのよ」って。「誰?」って軽く返した言葉の後に、彼女の口から飛び出た名前が、何とジミ・ヘンドリックスでした。
     もう驚いて、目がぐるぐる回りましたよ。当時は自分のベッドル ームの枕元に彼のポスターを張っていたような存在。「ちょっとア ンティー、取りあえず、私、部屋に入るわ」と言って、スーツケー スを2階に運んでいたんだけど、ショックで階段から落ちちゃうの。それで、前歯が欠けてしまった。あの時代、日系人は黒人と親戚ということは恥だと思っていた。だから、父も親戚もじっと沈黙していたんでしょうね。「いつでも会いに行けるわよ」と言われたけど、その時代は、サンシャイン・アメリカ! あちこちトリップ三昧でそれどころではなかった。
     日本に帰国してから、ずっと仕事が忙しくて...。正直、ジミのこ とも記憶の外でしたね。80年代後半、再びシアトルへ行き、ジミの父親、アル・ヘンドリックス宅へ訪ねた際、「ジミがいつ帰ってきてもいいように、用意しているんだよ」と、ジミの部屋を案内してくれて。当時、ジミは亡くなっていたわけだけど、彼のために世界中のファンからさまざまなお悔やみの手紙や、ジミが獲得した賞状とか盾、壁やアルバムが壁にひしめき合ってた。恐縮していたら、「遠慮しないで。親戚じゃないの」って、すごくよくしてくれました。
     で、お茶を飲みながら、アルおじさんが「ジミがね、何でいつも羽を頭につけてたか、知ってるかい?」って。ジミのおばあちゃん、 つまり、アルおじさんのお母さんは 100%のチェロキー・インディアンだったんです。チェロキー・インディアンの掟として、ある程度、自意識が生まれたころに一人で森に置いてきて、自分の精霊に出会うようにほったらかしにしておくんですって。確か、アルおじさんはうさぎだったかな。それでアルおじさんも、同じように泣きじゃくる幼いジミを森に置いてきたそうなんですよ。次の日に行ったら、ジミは白いワシに出会ったと。「それなら、お前の守護神はホワイトイーグルだ」って。そこからジミはワシに対して意識がすごく強くなって、多分自分のマスターだったんじゃないのかな。彼が有名になってからも、いつもどこかに羽をつけてたんですよ。後年、私の親類のアンディあやこがアルおじさんと結婚した。ジミは「あやこがママになってくれてありがとう」とうれしがっていたそうです。きっと同じモンゴリアンの血が流れていたからでしょう。「日本で演奏したい」とも言ってたそうです。
     話は戻りますが、ジミがもの心ついたころ、アルおじさんは余裕 がなくてクリスマスプレゼントを買ってあげることができなかった。 白人の大家さんの息子さんが飽きたのか、白いフェンダーギターを 捨てていた。で、「うちの息子のために譲ってくれないか」と懇願 して、5ドルで買ったんですって。それがジミとギターの出会いなんですよね。左利きだったから、逆さまの弦をタランタラン鳴らし て、それは喜んでたんだよって。
     ジミが 有名になってから、ドラッグや酒に溺れていたとかと言われたけど、実はそうではないと、アルおじさんは断言していました。お酒もそんなに飲まないし、ドラッグでつぶれるような男ではないと。陰謀で彼をすごくサイケデリックで、ぶっ飛んでいる男として象徴する演出をしたい人達がいたと。まあ、女性に対しては、いつも興味はあったみたいですけど(笑)。  毎年、シアトルに行って、ジミのお墓参りをしています。「ハイ、 ジミ。あなたのことを知ってよかった」というのが、私のいつもの メッセージなんです。


    Jimi Hendrix

    Talk: Eri Kato

     My father was a second-generation Japanese American who was naturalized in Japan before World War II. When I graduated from high school, my father told me that I should know my roots, so I went to study in Seattle, his hometown. I stayed with my uncle's family, and my aunt in law, Hana was an artist and quite unusual.

    When I arrived their home, she told me drinking coffee, "You may not have heard about it, but I have a relative who is a very famous musician. "Right after I asked her "Who?", the name that came out of her mouth was, to my surprise, Jimi Hendrix! I was so amazed that I even felt dizzy.At that time, I was so into him, and I had a poster of him on the wall in my bedroom.I told her, "Let me go into my room first, auntie.” I tried to calm myself down and carry my suitcase upstairs, but I was so startled that I fell down the stairs. So I chipped my front tooth.

    Japanese Americans thought it was a disgrace to be related to blacks in those days. I guess that's why my father and his relatives stayed silent.She told me that I could go and see him anytime I wanted, but those were the days of Sunshine America!  I was too preoccupied with traveling from place to place to spend my time meeting him.

    After I came back to Japan, I was very busy with work, and to be honest, I didn't even recall Jimi. In the late ‘80's, I went back to Seattle to visit Jimi's father, Al Hendricks, and he showed me around his room and said, "I'm just trying to be prepared for when Jimi comes back.”Of course, Jimi has already passed away. I found his room had condolence letters from his fans in the world, certificates, plaques that Jimi had won, and albums. They were on the wall. When I was nervous to see them, he said, "Don't be shy. We're relatives." I appreciated him being nice to me.Having tea together, Uncle Al said, "Do you know why Jimi always wore a feather on his head?"

    Jimi's grandmother, Uncle Al's mother, was 100% Cherokee Indian.The Cherokee Indians have a rule that when a child becomes somewhat self-aware, they leave him or her alone in the forest and leave him or her alone to meet his or her own spirit.Uncle Al was a rabbit, I think. He left a young Jimi in the forest who was crying as well.When he picked up Jimi the next day, he told his father that he encountered a white eagle. So he said to his son,” Your guardian angel must be the white eagle.” Since that day, Jimi had become very conscious of the eagle and probably thought of it as his mentor!

    Even after Jimi became famous, he always had a feather on him somewhere. In later years, one of my relatives, Andy Ayako, got married to Uncle Al. Jimi said he was happy that Ayako became his mother.
    I'm sure it was because she had the same Mongolian blood as Native Americans. He was so interested in Japan that he wanted to perform in Japan.

    Back to the story, when Jimi was young, Uncle Al couldn't afford to buy him a Christmas present. He happened to find the white Fender guitar, which his white landlord's son had gotten bored of, and thrown it away. He begged the landlord to sell it to him for five dollars.That's how Jimi met his first guitar. Al told me that although Jimi was left-handed, he played the strings upside down with great pleasure.After Jimi became very famous, people said that he got arrested for drugs, and he spent his days continuously drinking. Uncle Al said definitely that wasn't the case.He didn’t drink that much, and he was not the kind of guy who would be smashed by drugs. Uncle Al believed that there was a conspiracy to portray Jimi as a psychedelic and crazy man.Well, he was always interested in women though.
    Every year, I go to Seattle to visit Jimi's grave. I always talk to him "Hi, Jimi. I'm glad to have known you."

    Eri Kato
    Born in Tokyo, and lives in Akiya, Shonan. She is involved in the branding and product development of long-established stores as a creative producer,. Her father's sister-in-law, Ayako Andy, is Jimi Hendrix's stepmother.