Gene ‘Ess’ Shimosato – Mini Interview

Gene is in Japan for live dates all around the country this July and August, check the schedule on his website.
1. Where are you from and how did you first get into jazz?
    Originally from Tokyo but moved to an U.S. Air Force Base in Okinawa when 4 years old. 
    I got into jazz when I was 17 and first heard John Coltrane’s album Sun Ship.  Never been the same since then…

2. The guitar: who were your first heroes and why?

    Andres Segovia and Julian Bream.  Two great classical guitarists introduced to me by my mother who is a classical pianist.

3. How does the US scene and Japanese jazz scene differ?

I am still very new to the Japan jazz scene but my initial impression is that the Japanese jazz scene is very diverse and that there are a lot more venues that have live jazz in Japan than the U.S.

4. Current projects?

My current project is my band Fractal Attraction.  It is an original music quintet and fronts Thana Alexa on voice and myself on guitar and compositions.  We have 3 albums released and will record our 4th later this year for a 2018 release. The rhythm section is Yasushi  Nakamura on bass, Clarence Penn on drums, and Manuel Valera on piano.

5. 3 favorite albums?
    John Coltrane – Coltrane
    Keith Jarrett – Dark Intervals
    Wes Montgomery – Boss Guitar
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Mr. OK Jazz is a 20+ year resident of Japan and spends all his free time wandering the Kanto area looking for jazz cafes, bars, clubs and record stores. For two years he hosted the OK Jazz radio show on InterFM Radio, currently the OK Jazz podcast. You can reach him at *protected email*