There were 3 big men in Kichijoji Jazz Cafe Histories.
In 60s’ and 70s’ in Japan, there was a big boom of Jazz Cafe in Japan. Kichijoji area was one of the top area. The following 3 men were definitely LEADERS to establish such boom in Kichijoji.
Iori Noguchi (1942-2001) FUNKY, SOMETIMES, and so many others
Yasukuni Terashima (1938- ) MEG, and so many others
Yonehiro Onishi (1937-2002) A&F
The first batter is Iori Noguchi (野口伊織）
Funky was open in 1960 when he was a high school student !! (Exactly speaking his father opened with full music support from him). He is so called entrepreneur and he opened so may cafes/ restaurants in so may fields, and was called as to “Develop Kichijoji”.
Probably he has so much interest in so many fields, his interest in jazz had changed later. “Funky” is nowadays a kind of sophisticated cafe. (JBL “PARAGON” is still in heavy presence)
However, jazz club “SOMETIME” opened in 1975 is still keeping Noguchi’s initial spirits operated by Yuko Une.
The second one is Yasukuni Terashima (寺島靖国 )
He had been insisting the legends in jazz to be concentrated in his cafe, MEG, whereas FUNKY covered in well in variety of jazz.
Overwhelming speakers, “AVANT-GARDE” was its symbol, that Terashima-san had strong energy in audio system as well.
However, it was quite unfortunate that anybody had a time to be retired.
Probably it was fortunate that there was a successor, Yanagimoto-san. The cafe name was changed a little bit to “OTOKICHI MEGU”.
MEG operated live music partially, but OTOKICHI MEG is in major for the live performance.
It is exactly not so called jazz cafe….
The third one is Yonehiro Onishi (大西米寛）
Of course each cafe had each character which depends on cafe owner.
A&F– In the middle between the two, and more concentrated in newly released.
Therefore, it was possible in those days that each jazz fan had a chance to choose where to visit, wide range to FUNKY, traditional heavy to MEG and newly released to A&F.
Oh, what advantaged days for jazz fan at that time they got !!!
However, we need to be faced to the fact that all 3 great men were retired or passed away.
FUNKY was changed. SOMETIMES keeps but not typical jazz cafe. MEG was succeeded but changed to jazz club.
We see so many new jazz cafe was born recently., but so far not in Kichijoji area.
The question we would like to keep viewing if there could be revival of jazz cafe hot days in Kichijoji area ??
Thank you .
in reference to 吉祥寺JAZZ 物語