JBS (Jazz, Blues, Soul)

JBS (Jazz,Blues,Soul).jpg
1-17-10 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-Ku
Dōgenzaka 1 Chome 17-10 Shibuya-ku Tōkyō-to JP

There’s a beautiful simplicity about JBS (Jazz,Blues,Soul). Owner Kobayashi-san has more than 11,000 records in his tiny cafe, with no other decor visable. Even in a nation filled with maniac collectors this is an impressive site. I’d never seen such a collection up close before so it was quite overwhelming on my first visit. A great Jack DeJohnette quintet album was on when I first dropped by, followed by tenor-sax man Gary Bartz, both original vinyl pressings of course.

It took a couple of visits to get Kobayashi-san to start chatting, he’s a quiet, seemingly very shy man in his late 50s with a knowledge of “Black Music” (as they say here in Japan for any African-American music, from blues & gospel to soul & hip-hop) that is astounding. He’s written frequently in magazines and journals about the history and sociological impact of Black Music on America and the world. Behind the bar I could see some of the books he had with titles like “African-American Slang Dictionary”, “Hip-Hop Beats” and “The Death of Rhythm & Blues” alongside all the jazz disk guides.

JBS is a place that is about one thing only, and that is music. When I go there I go alone with a couple hours to spare, just listening to one great album after another, with the occasional question for Kobayashi-san. Even more so than than most jazz cafes, JBS is a music library where for the price of a coffee you get access to an incredible collection. It’s a diamond in the loud, vulgar streets of Shibuya.

Size
11-20
Food
No
Directions

Station: Shibuya-JR (many lines), Hanzomon,Ginza Subway Lines

Exit: Hachiko Exit

Distance from station: 6-9

JBS is easy to find; walk up Dogenzaka street in Shibuya and turn left when you pass the entrance to Mark City. Walk 30 seconds and look up, you`ll see the white sign on the second floor.

Date published
02/14/2009 UPDATED June 2015
wahwah.jpg
Daihachi-Toto Bld. B1 15-19 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuyaku Tokyo, Japan 150-0031 0.38 km
The Room is one of Tokyo’s best clubs, if not THE best for fans of funky/groovy music. It&#...
IMG_5335.jpeg
東京都渋谷区桜丘町 17-10 0.39 km
Music Bar 45 is a small 2nd floor joint located just a few minutes walk from the south exit of Sh...
Pres Jazz Bar.jpg
Utagawacho 30-4, Shibuya-Ku 0.43 km
03-3463-284803-3463-2848
Pres Jazz Bar is located up near the end of “Center Gai” street in Shibuya, not the...
B1 26-6, Utagawa-cho, Shibuya-Ku 0.43 km
Modern jazz specialty shop, more than 8000 records on sale from the 50s & 60s. Been open sinc...
koendori.png
Shibuya-ku, Udagawacho 19-5 0.57 km
Koen-Dori Classics is a small performance space located underneath a church in the heart of Shibu...
IMG_0139.jpg
Shibuya Parco B1, Udagawa-Cho 15-1 0.58 km
The central streets of Shibuya often conceal some cool little music spots amidst the brand stores...
bar bossa.jpg
41-23 Udagawa-Cho, Shibuya-Ku 150-0044 0.61 km
Bar Bossa in Shibuya is a quiet gem of a place, perfect for bossa nova fans and/or couples lookin...
Swing-6.jpg
16-4 Kamiyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 0.73 km
Despite its old-world cafe atmosphere, Swing only opened in 2014 and is one of the newer jazz spo...
Mary Jane outside.jpg
Fuji Shoji Bldg. 2F, Sakuragaoka 2-3, Shibuya-Ku 0.79 km
Many years back I found  Mary Jane by accident, as I had been  looking for the wonderfully named ...
Himawari Bldg. 2F, Dogenzaka 2-26-5, Shibuya-Ku 0.79 km
Very small place that is really just a bar with live music every night of the week. I’ve go...
Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 9.35.19.png
〒150-0002 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Shibuya, 1 Chome−5−6 B1F 0.94 km
INC Cocktails opened in late 2018 just a short walk from Shibuya Station. It’s a very large...
Seabird inside.JPG
〒150-0002 東京都渋谷区渋谷2丁目3−4 1.11 km
03-3499-189003-3499-1890
Seabird is a lovely old cafe next to Aoyama Gakuin University, between Shibuya and Omotesando sta...
Hotel Wing International Meguro B1, 1-3-14, Meguro 1.74 km
Blues Alley Japan. is a sophisticated club with great food and an eclectic live schedule. It...
Fat Mama.jpg
5-16-17, Meguro Honcho, Meguro-Ku 1.74 km
Fat Mama is named after the great Herbie Hancock track from his album “Fat Albert Rotunda&#...
Jingumae, 3 Chome−5−2 1.93 km
Gekko Sabou (月光茶房 “moon-light-tea-chamber”, a wonderful name) is not a jazz cafe/...
IMG_0020.JPG
Tokyo-to, Meguro-Ku, Yutenji 1-22-6 2.12 km
Ohio is great, an intimate, friendly bar with a huge collection of soul music. Owner Kin-chan has...
Haikara-Tei inside.jpg
Toyo Bldg. B1, 2-20-19 Yoyogi, Shibuya-Ku 2.36 km
03-3370-180103-3370-1801
Haikara-Tei is another Shinjuku jazz bar that somehow never popped up on my jazz radar after all ...
IMG_0284(1).JPG
Azeria Bldg 1F, 1-3-6 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 2.58 km
Vanilla Mood is a cool little jazz bar/club just across from Roppongi Hills. It has been open for...
IMG_1046.JPG
155-0032 東京都世田谷区代沢5-31-14 2.6 km
Lady Jane has a very cinematic feel to it, the kind of joint that a lot of people outside Japan w...
IMG_2704.JPG
5-6-14 Daizawa, Setagaya-Ku 2.67 km
Jazz Haus Posy was opened in 1973 by jazz fanatic Misa. She’s a serious enough fan to hav...
Masako inside.jpg
2-20-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-Ku 2.74 km
NOTE: Masako closed in FEB 2010…I’m leaving it here anyways, so people will remember....
1−28−9, Shibuya, Yoyogi 2.77 km
Music Bar is part of the new development Yoyogi Village (read more about it here. It’s no...
IMG_0276.JPG