View Full Version : Tokyo Trip - Day 3

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:31 PM
The major events of the day started around 1:00 p.m. when we took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from the main Tokyo train station to Ichinoseki, a small Japanese city around 250 miles (400km) to the north. For me, this was a thrill as I have always been a train fan and this ride allowed me to experience the efficiency of Japanese high speed rail and see considerable sections of the Japanese countryside. Top speed was around 160 mph (260 km/h), but there was no sensation of this except when we passed another Shinkansen travelling in the opposite direction. With a combined speed of over 300mph (500 km/h), a ten car train would rip past in less than 3 seconds.

We arrived in Ichinoseki in around 2.5 hours. This is a small city of around 100,000 people and home to the "Basie" jazz bar - our primary destination. "Basie" is pretty much universally known to Japanese jazz fans. It is run by jazz drummer Shoji Sugawari; better known to his fans as Swifty. As the name of his establishment implies, Swifty is a huge fan of Count Basie and had the opportunity to play with his band on a number of occaisions. Visiting jazz musicians often make the pilgrimage to Basie when they have the chance to visit Japan. Winton Marsalis and Elvin Jones are just two famous musicians that make a point of visiting Swifty at his club when they are in Japan.

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:36 PM
And here we are in Basie with the first picture showing Swifty on the left with Paul Bente (President of JBL) and Ken Yasuda (President of Harman Japan). Below you can see his speaker system consisting of twin 130B's in a sealed enclosure, 375 mid 075 and tweeter. Swftie closed his club to exclusively entertain our delegation. For the next eight hours, we were regaled with his selections from a collection of over 20,000 jazz albums.

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:38 PM
Below you can see some of the gear that Swifty uses to power is sound sustem. It's all vintage JBL using the SG 520 preamp and a tri-amped configuration using SE400 series power amps. He uses only one channel from each power amp to drive one individual driver. The turntable is a Linn Sondek with an SME arm and Shure V15 Type III cartridge. Since much of this gear is non repairable due to the unavailability of replacement parts, Swifty has collected dozens of backup components to use in maintaining his system. For example, he has over 20 JBL SE power amps in reserve and over 40 replacement cartridges.

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:42 PM
As can be seen below, the highlight of the evening's entertainment consisted of the occaisions when Swifty would jump behind his drum kit and play along to the recorded music.

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:44 PM

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:47 PM
Later on in the evening, we took a two hour break from the club to walk to downtown Ichinoseki and a traditional Japanese restaurant. It was a wonderful restaurant where we used the same private room that Swifty takes Winston Marsalis and other famous guests when they are in town.

Don McRitchie
09-11-2006, 06:50 PM

Don McRitchie
09-14-2006, 11:51 PM
Link to Day 1 (http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12157)

Link to Day 2 (http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12172)

Link to Day 4 (http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12207)

Link to Day 5 (http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12209)

Link to Day 6 (http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12237)